Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dear Arizona, WTF? Ironman AZ and other stuff

Dear Arizona,

WTF? I thought we were friends. More than friends--lovers even. I know I left you nine years ago, but I always come back to see how you're doing. To hike and bike your trails. To go out to dinner. To just hang out.

I always defend you when people say you're too hot (there's no such thing!) or that there's no vegetation in the desert (there is, too!) or that you're flat (hello, Flagstaff!). I'm your biggest fan. I love you and will always love you.

So I am hurt that the only two times I have come to compete in Tempe's Ironman, you have raged against me with a tidal wave of dust storms, gale-force winds and now, random patches of torrential rain.

Let's review your misbehaving, shall we?

IMAZ, April 2007. My very first Ironman and my very first marathon. I saved myself for you. And how do you repay me? With a pre-race sand storm that colored my teeth brown and made my mom refuse to let my sandy bum in her car to take me home. Then, on race day, you blew so hard on the bike that if I didn't pedal for a few seconds, I'd stop completely, even on a downhill.

IMAZ, April 2008, November 2008 and 2009. You were gorgeous and seemed so happy. You caressed my friends with curls of sunshine, let the air hang in place and seemed to be a true Ironman fan. I rode my bike out to the Beeline to cheer, happily and without fear of retaliation on your part. Whatever pissed you off in 2007 seemed to have passed.

IMAZ 2010. Sunday. I arrived Wednesday night to a gorgeous Phoenician evening. For three days, you almost made it up to 80 degrees, my favorite temperature. No clouds in the sky. When I arrived, my sinuses were flaring and my lungs were burning, but you helped bring me back to un-couch-ridden life by Saturday, just in time.

Just in time for you to blow me backwards on the bike again. To pelt me with rain. To play mind tricks with my already fragile head. To rain so hard right before I finished the bike that instead of finishing to throngs of people admiring my hot-pink knee socks, I cycled into what looked like the aftermath of an explosion--a deserted intersection with a water bottle slowly rolling across the road.

I read in the paper yesterday that I should be making a list of what I'm thankful for right now. So instead of railing on you any further for Sunday's hissy-fit, I will now praise you for what you did right.

Despite the rain and wind, your temperature was absolute perfection. I was never hot or cold--even in Tempe Town Lake. For that, I cannot thank you enough. I didn't mind the rain because the bike course is not technical, and it was not cold. (The wind, however, was unforgivable. Particularly because you started blowing right at the swim turn around, creating a current that sucked me away from the swim finish.)

Because of your clouds, I did not get sunburned, despite not putting any sunscreen on, except for on my face during the run. Apparently I looked pretty funny. People laughed at me. But I will take un-rubbed in sunscreen any day for a 1:29 Ironman T2.

Monday you were gorgeous again, leading me to believe that you are hell-bent on keeping me from achieving an Ironman personal record here, but that you still love me because you know how much I like warmth and sunshine.

So, Arizona, even though you cried and huffed and puffed about on Sunday, I know you still love me because if there's anything I dislike more than a whomping headwind, it's being cold--and you didn't let me get cold.

It's OK. Don't be shy about it. I still love you, too. And I'll be back. And next time--the third time I do IMAZ--maybe we can work together to create the most spectacular race day ever.

Love your (still) biggest fan,

Friday, November 12, 2010

Badass Bike Handling Skills

A friend forwarded this rad video. It's like pairs ice skating. Except with two girls, bikes and a bball court. From the 2009 European Junior Championships for Indoor Cycling, apparently.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Sexy Hotness Sleeping Bag

It's not everyday something inanimate like a sleeping bag can make me laugh, but the ALITE "sexy hotness" sleeping bag did just that.

I came across this puffy purple creation today. It lets you walk around in your sleeping bag, zip it to other bags to create one giant bag and is lined with Kama Sutra poses. Hotness is rated to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you're going on a fun camping trip with buddies, it seems like a viable choice. As the company says, "Sexy Hotness is the perfect sleeping bag for making love in the woods."

Maybe I'll give it a try.