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Triathlete Blog

Life Without Lines

By October 25, 2009July 13th, 2015No Comments

I’m like a Where’s Waldo lately except it’s Where’s ELF. And I don’t have a funny stocking cap (speaking of which, it’s almost winter which means it’s almost winter hat season). Here’s one from the winter hat archives:

Ok I’m nothing like Waldo but back to the point…

Where is myself? At home now. For the next few weeks. And I’ve been doing normal things that normal people do. I’ve gone totally normal. And, honestly, I’m enjoying myself!

Everyone needs a few weeks each year to truly enjoy themselves. Take the demands completely away, there is nothing I “have” to do, there are things I want to do but if I don’t get to do them I don’t feel guilty or less of a person.

Know what I mean?

In other words, I have been rocking, absolutely nailing and setting all new personal bests (of least amount of yards swum and lowest power output) in the 6-hour training week.

I know what you’re thinking….the 6-hour training week? Yes, 6 hours. Does it even count? Is it worth even recording in a log? I think so. Because I’ve been doing so. And 6 hours is on the high end. There are some weeks I managed to squeeze in….4. Maybe a few 5s.

There are things I like to do (run), things I probably should do (swim) and things I will do if the weather is nice enough (bike), things I probably should maintain (strength) and things I want to try (flow yoga, wine school, cyclocross).

For the record: you can record wine school in Training Peaks.

And at this point I wish I could record “trying to make the baby” on Training Peaks because I’m telling you this is a lot more work than it sounds.

When I told Chris I was feeling guilty for racking up the 5 hour training weeks, he said:

Liz, maybe you need a few 5 hour training weeks.

I found myself thinking he’s right (he usually is unless the conversation involves why it’s ok to eat potato chips before dinner). And after I gave myself permission, I became the master of…whatever. Of taking it easy. Of not swimming for an entire week. Of calling “cleaning my house” a workout. Of counting “walks”…

Exhibit A (above): “walking

What else? On Monday I went for an easy ride at the Arboretum. This sums up the ride.

I put that picture up on Facebook the other day and got all sorts of weird feedback. Like, what is going on here, what’s wrong, where is this from. This, my friends, is what happens when your husband chooses to make you the subject of the 12904290834902 photos he has been taking with his new camera. Chris does not take scenery photos. He insists that someone is always in the photo. Since he’s holding the camera, the model is me. I can only stand so many pictures of myself smiling in a pose so I decided to pose in a different way.

(it’s worth noting that the next day I woke up and my left side REALLY hurt and it took me a few minutes to realize that is because Chris made me heave my bike into this pose about a dozen times while he changed the lighting and shutter speed)

Tuesday I visited my mom. Rode my bike over there which took all of about 20 minutes which is, coincidentally, long enough to call a bike workout. We made her world famous ghost cookies. They’re actually not world famous but once you all get a look at these adorable little cookies, it will be like a ghost cookie craze. Check it out.

Nutter butters + almond bark + mini M&M eyes = easy yum

Tuesday I also ran track. Yes – TRACK! I’m doing a few local 5Ks so right now the track makes perfect sense. I made the mistake of telling Jen Harrison that I was doing track to which she instantly replied with a page long email containing a workout with specific times to hit.

Gee thanks.

This is what I get for telling someone who knows precisely what I can – and cannot – do on the track. 1600, 2 x 800, 4 x 400, 2 x 200. That was more fun that eating a dozen ghost cookies in one sitting.

Which I didn’t do but my husband did.

On Wednesday, we celebrated Chris’ 21st birthday. The 21st birthday he has celebrated now 15 times. We started at the Arboretum taking pictures. Seriously another picture of me standing next to a tree and smiling? No thank you.

When it got dark, I suggested we go wine tasting. What’s more fun that drinking on a Wednesday night?

Answer: drinking a wee bit too much on Wednesday night. OUCH.

Thursday night I headed down to the city to teach a cycling class. I actually found the north side. I also found that it is hell to get into and out of the north side. First of all, too many Volkswagons. Secondly, 90 East. Say no more. Third, the entrance on Lawrence was closed and the detour took me on a 20-minute tour of stoplights. I think at some point in Chicago you pick a side and you stay there. North Side or South Side. I choose the South Side. Or should I say Souff Side. I like the ghetto impalas and the hoodies. Plus I swear that homeless guy on the ramp of Damen makes pretty eyes at me every time.

On Friday I visited Boss. Chris calls them my conjugal visits. Boss has been on temporary leave of absence at my in-laws for the past 6 weeks. This is our last ditch effort to figure out why I have grown myself asthma in the past year. Not just exercise-induced asthma but full on heavily medicated asthma is awesome asthma. It’s actually not awesome. We thought it might be Boss so we displaced him, went on a cleaning frenzy and encased everything in the house except ourselves. It didn’t help. In fact the only time that my peak flow numbers were good was in Hawaii. It would be only logical to conclude that I need to live in Hawaii.

My husband isn’t buying that!

Saturday it was Chris’ real birthday. So he walked around the house all morning in circles demanding Birthday Sex while announcing the fact that he has not played Halo in about a week. I think that is manspeak for….I have emerged from my man cave and I am ready to mate. When he finally did stop circling me, I looked at him, he looked at me and I shook my head ‘no’.

Without too many details….ok who am I kidding, the whole fun of this story is the details so if you are not interested in the details – EAR MUFFS! I think I have peed on over 100 little white sticks in the past few months. The other day I decided to start conserving money and buy the cheaper sticks. And you wouldn’t believe what happened:


No lines. No control line, no – blue – lines.


Do you know what this was like? Waiting for two lines, expecting at least one line and instead seeing NO LINES? WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN!?! Uterus broken? System corrupt? User error? How can you fail at peeing on something! I’ve spent years peeing on my bike, my racing flats and on myself. Now when it counts, I missed! (maybe?)

Sunday morning finally contains some notes worth recording in my training log. I woke up early to drive down to the city for a 5K. I love the city when everyone else sleeps. For about a mile I even had Lake Shore Drive northbound all to myself. Across the lake, the sun was peeking out of a thin sliver on the horizon. Looking across Montrose Harbor, I could see the entire skyline of the city. It was beautiful.

The 5K was hard. Aren’t they always? What I love – and hate – about the 5K is that it is redline from the gun – it never lets up. A 10K is like a 5K just twice as long. It never fails that I find myself at the halfway mark of a 10K about 10 seconds off my 5K time and thinking CRAP now I have to hold it. If you do a half marathon right it’s like running a 10K up to the 7 mile mark then you just hang on for dear life.

About 3 weeks ago, I did a local 5K and as I crossed the line, the man behind me summed it up: “I think all races hurt about the same no matter the distance, except that in a 5K you have to squeeze all that hurt into a short amount of time.” He’s right. Within 1 mile you’re wheezing, barking and in the hurt box. And you know that is exactly where you need to be for the next 2 miles. I was out there this morning at mile 1 thinking to myself you chose this! I hit the first mile too fast – 11 seconds faster than my track mile the other day – not good – but then again that’s the risk you have to take in a 5K. You really can’t wait and see. You just go. I took about 22 seconds off my time from 3 weeks ago.

The good news is that I beat the family dressed up as condiments. The bad news is that a dude in a chicken costume ran a 16:38 5K.

What the f&#*ck!?!?!

But wait, it gets better. I looked at my 2nd overall medal and noticed there seems to be a discrepancy….it’s a medal for the 10K. Do you know what that means?

I just ran the world’s fastest 10K.


Big thank you to the race announcer who said my name as I crossed the line, said I was in good form (pity lie but thank you nonetheless) and then announced that I have a blog about triathlon and….life.

Is that what this is? Life?

If so then I call this life without lines. Yes, that’s it. No lines.

I’m really just a bunch of squiggles. Test me for sguigglyness. I’ll come up positive.