Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Very Un-Triathlete Bachelorette Party--With Photos!

The ideal bachelorette party for most female triathletes must be something like this: A long hike with the athletic bridal party up some beautiful mountain. Gossip over a hearty and healthy lunch of turkey sandwiches, trail mix, and Gatorade. Hike back down and stay in a cabin, far from the sights and sounds of city living. Especially when you're in the beginning of Ironman training. Wouldn't want to mess with that. Can't skip a workout entirely, right?

But how about living on the edge? Changing things up a bit? Going wild like most other bachelorettes--it's the best excuse you'll ever have to break your routine and do things you'd never ever do while training otherwise. My friends and I chose to go route #2, and it was the greatest party I have ever witnessed. And not just because it was in my honor.

Tips to Avoid Training Burn-Out at Your Bachelorette Party

  1. Don't train

  2. Go to Vegas

  3. Load up at your only meal of the day: a $30 buffet. Try every dessert.

  4. Gossip. A lot. About boys. Then play "Pin the Manhood on the Man"

  5. Drink 6,000 plus calories of alcohol over a 9-hour period of time

  6. Get serenaded by a bunch of men as equally loopy as you are

  7. Complete dirty dares written on the tags of the lingerie your friends bought you

  8. Go somewhere where no photography is allowed. See dirty things

  9. Go clubbing until it's definitely tomorrow

  10. Follow that up with someone's left-over room service pizza, found in the hallway at 5am to ensure your body, which never ever processes alcohol, doesn't eject anything when you finally go to sleep

  11. Walk around Vegas like a zombie while window shopping and watching water dance at the Bellagio

  12. Return home ridiculously motivated to resume training and banish any and all Sin City-induced bloating

Cute Girls

Me + our top gambler of the weekend

Super Hot Bridesmaids

Super Hot Bridesmaids

Piano Bar

Serenaded at a Piano Bar

Super Hot Friends

More Super Hot bridesmaids and friends

Bun Pincher

Bun Pincher. A souvenir. And another Super Hot bridesmaid.

Happy partying!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Catalina Island Buffalo Run Hurts Like Hell

Catalina Buffalo RunBut it’s worth it! This past Saturday morning, about 300 athletes rolled out of their beds and moseyed on over to the start of Catalina Island’s 8th Buffalo Run half marathon. With a 9am start time, and every hotel within walking distance of the race start, the Buffalo Run seemed like an athletic vacation. The sun was shining, bringing temperatures into the mid-70s, and making some people mourn their decision to leave their Fuel Belts at home.

Just after the horn sounds, however, it becomes very clear that this is not a vacation. 5 miles straight up paved and dirt roads quickly separate athletes who are there to win from those who just want to finish.

The Buffalo Run course map only highlights the peak elevation within each mile, proving a bit misleading. From the map, it looks as if the first 5 miles are up, then there’s a 1-mile downhill, a 3-mile gradual climb, and a 4-mile plummet back down into Avalon. The truth is the first 5 are up, there is slight relief from about a mile downhill, then treacherous rollers set in, comprising the next 4 miles before a quad-deadening descent brings you in for a quick and painful finish.

This year’s race, according to analysis of several competitors’ Garmins, was about 13.45 miles long, making this year’s times visibly slower than last year’s, when the course was said to be a bit short, coming in at 12.95 miles.

Ben Brown took the men’s race again this year, finishing in 1:24:19, just under 17 minutes before the next competitor crossed the finish line. He’ll be back to defend his American Trail Championship title by competing in the Catalina Marathon on March 15th—he’s been sponsored to run again this year, he said on the podium.

The first female finisher, 36-year old Buffy Jones, finished 9 minutes ahead of the next woman, in 1:48:07.

The race is undeniably beautiful. Views of snow-capped mountains past the layer of filth of Los Angeles were awesome—it was hard not to gawk at the view while running the rollers on top of Catalina’s gorgeous mountains. The course was stocked with Gatorade, water, and pretzels, among other things, with friendly volunteers, and even friendlier competitors who cheered each other on when passing, and on the out-and-back portion of the run. Everyone strikes up conversations at the end with whomever they ran near. I got to speak to the third-place woman, who ran the first 5 miles with me, then kicked my ass.

If you’ve been looking for a trail run, look no further. With a laid-back attitude, a great field of competitors, an unbeatable course, and a sunny day at the beach to look forward to when you finish, there is no reason to go anywhere else. (Not to mention the sense of accomplishment that you get when you finish one of the toughest half marathons around. The pain that lasts for at least 48 hours afterward will remind you of just how awesome you are!)

And no, sadly, no buffalo were reportedly seen on the run. Gonna have to do the marathon and run by the airport for that!

See you out there,


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Michellie Jones Sighting!

Redondo Beach has never been this awesome! Michellie Jones was spotted yesterday in the same city that Chris McCormack is currently getting to know. Michellie, one of the coolest (if not the coolest) female athletes on the planet, chose to have a look around by participating in the 30th annual Redondo Beach Superbowl 10K.

Michellie Jones run

The superfast Ironman World Champion, who is the reason I and hundreds of other Michellie wannabes are obsessed with pink triathlon everything, finished the hilly course in 38:02. That's a 6:08min/mile pace, which placed her 3rd in the 35-29 age group, and 4th woman overall. And a good 10 minutes faster than my best 10K time. Way to kick some ass, Michellie! She was even dressed in her trademark pink. She's truly the coolest.

P.S. The picture above is not from the you might have guessed from the Ironman number. I just put it there as a visual reminder of how cool Michellie is.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Macca Sighting!

2007 Ironman World Champion Chris McCormack was spotted at Redondo Beach's premier triathlon shop, TriathlonLAB yesterday, chatting with employees. It's believed he may move to Redondo Beach for a few months to train and check out the scene. We local tri geeks couldn't be happier! Especially the females. The 34-year old Aussie champ makes the ladies swoon!

Chris McCormack

Even in this photo, where Macca's sponges give him the appearance of manboobs, we love him.

7 Band-Aids for the Crappiest Day Ever

Maybe I should’ve recognized burning my forearm on the oven last night as the bad omen that it was and stayed in bed all day today. But no. I woke up this morning to my first (of many to come, I know) rejection letter to a book proposal. Less than 15 hours after I submitted the proposal. At least they didn’t keep me hanging.

Sad baby

Then I walked to the gym so I could get my endorphins going and start the day fresh. On the way there, I noticed a parking ticket on my car’s window shield for having my back bumper in the “red zone” of a curb. Fine? $35.

Upon receiving my paycheck at work, I realized it was 2 days short, and that yesterday’s hours weren’t registered on my e-time card. And the one-woman HR department quit today. Who’s gonna give me my cash? I still have to figure that one out.

Returning home, ready for some food and a movie with the fiancĂ©, I get a letter from a local university to which I applied for a 2nd bachelor’s degree. They’re not accepting 2nd bachelor’s degree applicants this year, as there are too many darn people in Southern California and their budget is too tight. Make do with the useless liberal arts degree you have. Try again next year. We’ll refund your application fee.

Ok, so that last one wasn’t too bad of a blow. I applied as a back up plan to a program I’m not sure I even want to attend. And now I can’t, so that decision’s been made for me.

Finally, I figured I’d see how the giant blister on my forearm was coming along and put a new Band-Aid on it. I pulled out the box of 10 extra large bandages coachancĂ© bought me yesterday. It looked sparse; there were only 7 Band-Aids inside.

And with that, I’ve learned my lesson: If I burn my forearm on an oven, then I should not bother to wake up the next day. Or check my email. I should live a day in total meditation. And maybe buy some concrete-colored paint.

Going to bed at 6:30pm,