Sunday, December 31, 2006


Barb tagged me with this book game:

1. Find the nearest book.
2. Name the book & the author.
3. Turn to page 123.
4. Go to the fifth sentence on the page. Copy out the next three sentences and post to your blog.
5. Tag three more folks.

I'm tempted to choose a book that's further away than the one closest to me but I guess ya'll know that I'm working thru some stuff so here's the one that's on the couch next to me:

Book: Saying What's Real: 7 Keys to Authentic Communication and Relationship Success
Author: Susan Campbell, PhD

pg. 123, 5th sentence:

"Judgements and interpretations about the other are a type of defense mechanism. They help us to maintain the illusion that we are in control - that we know things that we actually cannot know, such as someone else's intentions or hidden feelings. All we can really know for sure is what we ourselves experience."

I'm not at all a self-help book reader. I'm trying to expand my horizons a bit and this book is actually pretty helpful for me to read right now. Check it out...

I tag Ms. Triathlete Teacher, Rocketpants, and Isis.

Happy New Year's Eve

I'm feeling better. I've gotten a lot done in the past two days and feel like some of the pressure is off at work. I work in the ski industry and our big show is in Las Vegas during the third week in January. My job is to design and produce the product catalog for our 2007-08 products as well as put together the show booth for the show. It's a fun job but at this time of year, it adds to the stress...and especially this year. I'm a planner...and this catalog is impossible to get a head start on. Just the nature of the business.

Things in other realms are still tough but my spirit is somehow feeling stronger. Maybe it's relief that 2006 has finally come to an end. It's been a year of incredible highs and the lowest of lows... but I think maybe I'm catching a glimpse of acceptance and getting a grip on what I can control and what I can't. I've never been a religious person but I've had the Lord's Prayer on my mind a lot lately. We said it at my Grandmother's service and I think I've been carrying it with me since then.

I'm not ready to choose a mantra for the year but training officially begins this week. For now, I'm taking things day by day...and trying to find only this:

acceptance of the things I cannot change
courage to change the things I can
and wisdom to know the difference

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve and best of luck to all of you racing in New Year's Day triathlons...2007 brings a clean slate with lots of promise. Thanks for tuning in. :)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Stolen from E-Speed who stole it from Su...

The game is to bold the items on the list that apply to you then add one of your own to the end. Seemed like a good way to post something not quite so depressing!

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa.
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day

38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer.
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured an ancient site
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played Dungeons & Dragons for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking

103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a sting-ray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper

129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Para-sailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life
151. Finished a marathon
152. Finished a Half Ironman
153. Finished a 50 mile ultramarathon
154. Rode a train from the east coast of the US to the west coast in one shot.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Raindrops on Roses...

whiskers on kittens
bright copper kettles
definitely warm woolen mittens
warm sunny days
fresh cut grass
spring green
that salty feeling you have after spending a day at the beach
riding my bike fast down a hill
finishing a race
sitting down to breakfast after a tough workout
a baby giggling
grilled cheese
fresh vegetables from the garden
a walk (or run) on a warm summer evening
shoulder deep snow and a day off to ski in it
Friday at quitting time
crisp clean sheets and fluffy pillows
waking up to warm sunshine on my face

How 'bout you? what things do you think of to make you feel better?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

You Know...

Right now I'd say I'm in crisis. Things are feeling as low as I think they've ever felt. And you know what just dawned on me? This is STUPID. It's just DUMB. I'm not writing this here because I want you to feel bad for me...but so that you (and I) can see that I'm just being an idiot...Last night i cried for almost 3 hours...finally fell asleep...woke up around 4 and cried myself back to sleep. Would've called in sick but I'm working on a deadline, felt like crap all day, couldn't really eat much last night or today and you know what... ENOUGH. I'm my own worst enemy. I have to get a grip or I'm going to lose everything I care about...including my own sanity. I actually considered checking myself into the psyche ward this morning.

I'm ruining my own life with all this sadness and I realized just now, in a fit of incredulous laughter, that it's my own damn choice and my own damn fault. I'm wasting valuable time, hurting people I love and neglecting everything I decided I was going to change for the better in my life. I'm ALIVE. I'm HEALTHY. I'm not saying suck it up, don't feel the sadness. I have to go thru it. But I am saying I need to quit wasting my energy on being sad because it's consuming me and everyone around me and by the way, it IS possible to just treat it as something that comes and goes rather than letting it cripple me, letting it run my life. I know I need to feed myself so I feel ok. I have to take my meds, go to the gym...all these things will help.

Get a grip, Spence. Be the person you want to be so that you can like yourself again. No one's going to do it for you. And you can't give to anyone else if you're wallowing in it...

Triathlete Girl is in me. She's always been in me. I just have to choose for her to show herself. Yes, it's hard most days right now. But being sad is just making it harder. So here's the plan:

I'm going to be the person my dog thinks I am.

Get over it's boring and unattractive. You like it when your eyes sparkle, not water...

(Comments are off for this one - it's just for me I guess...)
(And yes, I see my therapist tomorrow morning, thanks for wondering...)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Never Fear

Well, my dad was sure I was going to off myself after the last post but alas, I am still here and would never consider such an action...i mean really...there's chocolate and summer and those two things alone are enough to keep me around. Definitely not going anywhere (except maybe insane...wanna come along?) ;) Sorry if I'm concerning or depressing you...I learned tonight that at least two of my family members have tuned out because they can't stand to watch the trainwreck...but you know, this blog is for me so if they choose to click the little black x, that's ok. I feel sure that someone somewhere is relating to my world...and if not, well it can be just for me. It's always good to look back and see how far you've come when you're finally out of the hole. And the fact that I repeat the jump into the hole over and over...well...that just makes me unique, right? Right?

So quick update and then I'm heading to bed:

1.) Saying goodbye to Ganna was a sendoff to beat all sendoffs. We celebrated, cried and laughed and remembered all the good things about a magnificent life. The meltdown I anticipated never materialized...I'm not convinced that I'm outta the woods yet but the sendoff was a success...she is in a much happier place now and there has been closure. For that I am very thankful...and I'm especially thankful for such a huge, loving and closeknit family.

2.) Fell off the wagon bigtime. So the 15 days stays and the 16th begins this minute. I blame it on a funeral and reception...and a swim meet with a lousy concession stand and an inability to find time to get to the store prior to the meet. Whatever. Back on track as of right now...

3.) I wasn't the only one that wanted a do-over...I was right to trust that we care about each other so much that giving up is not an option.

3.) We came in 6th overall at the swim meet!! I couldn't update because they lied about wireless access. The only teams to beat us were teams with upwards of 25 swimmers compared to our 16. We had quality points - lots of first, second, and third age group placings...we swam like fishies!! It was especially inspiring to watch the two 76 year olds on our team swim so many events with such skill, style and class.

My own swim performance was not what I had's so easy to think you can gain a few seconds over a year of practice. I chalked it up to being tired and having just said goodbye to Ganna. I was last in my age group in every event I swam in...but my times were mostly what I predicted with the 800 free, 100 free and 50 Breast coming in under what I predicted. Thinking back, I realized that my preparation for this meet last year was considerably more focused...I had Weasel Boy dragging me to a third swim session for an extra month...and I was focused only on the meet and not a million other things in my life. It's all good. I showed up. I swam. I still got a good amount of points for our team. I contributed. That can be what matters this time. Here's the rundown of my times (parentheses show what i predicted)...

Remember, this was short course METERS...25 meter pool...
800 free - 14:29.21 (15:00)
100 IM - 1:47.91 (1:44)
200 breast - 4:06.15 (3:59) This event HURTS...
50 free - 0:40.9 (0:40)
100 free - 1:29.37 (1:30)
100 breast - 1:55.14 (1:53)
50 breast - 0:54.31 (0:56)

I also contributed to a second place finish in the women's 400M Free relay, a 4th place finish in the 200M Free relay and a first place finish in the 400M Medley Relay (believe it or not, I swam the backstroke was U-G-L-Y...and the catch is that we were the only ones in our age group for this relay so we just had to swim it and not do anything to get ourselves DQed...which we managed to avoid. Hey, 34 points is 34 points!)

My goal for the spring meet is to make every attempt to not be the weak link...I expect my half iron training along with my wagon ride will go a long way toward making that happen.

Two more days until the winter solstice...and it's all light from there... thank the goddess...

And thanks to everyone that has sent good words and thoughts my makes my world so much brighter...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

This Too Shall Pass (please please please let it pass...)

Today I'm really sad. I started out ok but things went downhill from there and here I am. Rock bottom sad.

Two weeks ago my mom's mom, my Ganna, succumbed to Alzheimer's Disease. The funeral is tomorrow and I'm still in ambivalent mode. I guess I'm bracing myself for the onset of the realization that she's gone...but honestly, the death of even a housefly would trigger full on hysteria. Cannot.Stop.Crying.

And I'm hurting someone that I love so much. I don't know what to say to her, I don't know how to make her trust me. Whatever I do say just seems to make it worse. I won't give up. But honestly, I have no idea where to go from here. I wish we could start over but what's been said is already out there, has already done the damage. I just hope our love is strong enough to endure it.

There is some good news. I've been on the wagon now for 15 days with only one major day of disaster eating. Down about 5 lbs. My clothes fit better. AND I've worked out every day in the past week. Progress is motivating.

Swim meet this weekend at Boston University's new pool. We've rallied 16 swimmers from the UV Rays Masters team to represent...the most so far of the 3 meets we've competed in. We're all swimming the 800 freestyle on Friday night to start Saturday off with a substantial point total...and the goal is to break into the top ten. Who knows, we may even be top 5! Of course, it's hard to compete against teams with 40+ swimmers. There's WiFi so I'll try to post results over the weekend...tune in.

I'm swimming these events and have seeded myself with these times (in Short Course Meters):
800 free: 15:00 min
100 IM: 1:44
200 Breast: 3:59
50 Free: 0:40
100 Free: 1:30
100 Breast: 1:53
50 Breast: 0:56

I expect to also swim the 200 Medley Relay (no idea which leg), the 200 Free Relay and the 400 Free Relay.

Hope everyone is having a good week...and has a great weekend.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Nationality Identity Crisis

You know, it's come up many times: somehow I think I was born on the wrong side of the border. The Canadians seem to totally "GET" my sense of humor.

Going into Day 9 on the's getting harder but I'm stickin' to it with the hope that it will get easier.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

4th Grade Humor

I'm in the mood for some totally infantile humor today so I need some audience participation. But first, the ever important number: 2.6. That's the number of lbs. I've lost in my first week back to Weight Watchers. It's not a lot, but it's a start...and one of my esteemed tri coaches reminded me that Mondays can be heavy days for a number of reasons... But my clothes fit better, I feel better, it's all good. And Triathlete Girl has appeared several times in the past few days. I'm pretty sure the new meds are working... THANK the goddess.

OK, time for audience participation. As I was showering at the pool on Saturday morning, I noticed the drain was full of nasty soap scum and lotsa hair. EWWW. And I thought to myself, "THAT's grosser than gross." And then I thought, how about a "What's Grosser than Gross" poll, triathlete style. SO, what have you noticed in your time as a triathlete that totally grosses you out?? I'll start...


1. Hair and soap scum in the drain in the locker room.
2. The smell of my running shoes after a rainy, muddy run.
3. When people at the gym don't wipe their sweat off the equipment after they use it..

C'mon people...I need to giggle today!!!

Train hard!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Devil Went Down to...the Pool?

(I'm cheating and pre-dating my posts - I swear I had every intention of writing this on Saturday but it just never happened...)

Saturdays are usually sleep in days for me but Coach B has been able to wrangle some extra pool time for us at 6:30 am on Saturday mornings. Nice. I'll pretty much take any offered opportunity to swim when there are no floaty, wall hugging, lane hogging lap swimmers in the pool. My first swim meet of the season is in two weeks and I figured I better get some additional yardage in the bank...and start getting myself into an early Saturday routine...since I'll need to add a swim to get ready for the Timberman Half IM. SO, 6:00am, off to the pool.

On Friday, Coach had sent around an email warning that she would offer any of us the opportunity to try the "Satan Set". Well, although everything at Masters swimming is optional, the very offer of such a set begged acceptance. Only wussies would decline such an invitation.

I'll take your bet, you're gonna regret 'cause I'm the best that's ever beeeeen...

So the deal with this set...You take your fastest race time for 100 yards of whatever stroke you choose to swim...I chose freestyle and my PR time is a 1:22 from the blocks.

Then you swim 6 x 100 yards on a relatively long interval (the true Satan Set calls for a 6:00 interval - we did it on about a 7:30/8:00 - or until our heart rates had recovered)...which means you go 100%, all out, swim like you're being chased by Jaws, fast for 100 yards and then spend the rest of the time this case, we did a 200 pull in between the 100s...reeeeeeeaaaaaaly easy like. Because you think your heart is going to explode. No joke.

The goal for the set is to swim each of your 100s within 6 seconds of your PR for me, that meant I had to swim each in under 1:28.

Well the Devil bowed his head because he knew that he'd been beat:

#1: 1:24
#2: 1:23
#3: 1:24
#4: 1:24
#5: 1:25
#6: 1:27

Oh, and we warmed up for 1000 yards and cooled down for 200 for an even 3000 yard practice. All before 8 am on a Saturday...

I gotta tell you, weekends are really long when you get up that early.

Devil just c'mon back if you ever wanna try again, 'cause I told you once you son of a b**** I'm the best that's ever been...