When I don’t have a race report or recipe or anything cohesive to say about anything, I throw together a mashup of things and slap it with the label “vignettes.” It’s a fun way to track the ebbs and flows of life, it gets me writing, and it provides a chance to step out of the stream for awhile. It’s a time to stop and ask, “Where have I been, where am I now, and where am I going?”—not always questions I find easy or comfortable.
Riding » I unintentionally bumped my mileage up to 160 last week—thanks mostly to a chatty five-hour ride with Katie on Saturday. Since January’s Coast Ride, I’ve been averaging around 100 a week; this little bump ushered in renewed bike love, and some welcome DOMS to boot. (I love me some DOMS!)
Other than that, my training over the past month (because of factors to be mentioned later in this post) has been of the sneaky variety. As in, sneak it in when I can. I’ve been getting in all the essentials (hills, speed work, long runs, regular swims) but there’s not a lot of specificity or order, just a triathlete doing things the way she’s always done. A nagging voice keeps repeating that Einstein quote about the definition of insanity being “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” but right now a flexible and self-directed training plan is all I can handle. Guess I’ll just have to adjust my expectations in order to avoid becoming truly insane!
Graduating »The reason I was able to ride longer this past weekend was because … last weekend marked the end of yoga teacher training! I am now a certified yoga instructor! (Ahem, once I hand in the last assignments, take the online exam and do a CPR course.) We wrapped up three months of study and friendship last Sunday with a beautiful ceremony at the studio (tears!) and a potluck in the park.
Working » Those of you who know me well know the story, but about a month ago my work life changed dramatically (which prompted this somewhat rambling post). Things are still not ironed out, but over the last few weeks, I’ve been surprised at the amount of support and wise counsel I’ve found in my friends and community. Below is a photo of me working one of our events remotely from my living room, a day that started at 4 a.m. I then rushed off to the above last Saturday of teacher training, wrote the race report on my break and jetted home right after to finish putting up photo galleries. #sobusy, right Keith?
Eating » With the extra work hours, there’s been even less time to cook, not that I’d been doing a ton of that anyway. To mix up our (aka Mark’s) weekly rotation of tacos, omelettes, and salads, we’ve enjoyed the following unique and affordable new finds over the past few weeks: Flavors of East Africa in North Park (below, top row, very interesting flavors), Blaze pizza in Encinitas (unassuming, healthy and affordable), and Local Greens in Solana Beach (looks like a fast food joint but has a wide array of healthy bowls, wraps and salads). We also finally visited the esteemed Urban Solace one evening with friends visiting from D.C.
And then, of course, our beloved Smoked Sundays. Last Sunday, after a mayhem weekend and the yoga graduation potluck, I dragged my tired yoga butt home for a quick nap (can you say day drinking?) before heading out again for the guaranteed food coma that is a Smoked Sunday. Usually, the menu mainstay is some type of meat smoked on our friend’s Traeger Grill, but this time is was sous-vide steak by Mark, Ceasar salad, bruschetta, and sides.
Graduation cupcakes and a petite syrah tasting topped it all off—mostly in honor of a young college grad among us, but for my little yoga grad, too.
Testing » Early last Wednesday, Mark drove me to UCSD to have a catheter installed in my throat. This has become more normal lately than getting my nails done. My doc wanted to test yet another Gus theory. This one was a “24-hour ambulatory pH monitoring test,” AKA “I get to walk around for a day with this wire down my throat and push a button every time I eat, drink, lay down, or feel a symptom.”
Besides some weird looks at the coffee shop in the morning and later at happy hour, it wasn’t such a bad day. I didn’t train (getting any type of quality in would’ve been hard) so I just consumed more than normal amounts of food and beer, which tend to bring on the symptoms quite reliably (at least when a long-distance triathlon or 15 mile run isn’t on the day’s docket.) I get the results later this week, but my gut says they’ll come back normal and I’ll be back at square one.
Sipping » Besides my usual daily intake of coffee, wine/beer/cocktails (not all at once!), and various carb and electrolyte-infused creations, I finally tried this souped-up hot cacao from We Are Yogi, a company run by one of my favorite yoga instructors (and anatomy guru) Ashton. Memorial Day Weekend was chilly and overcast, and despite two separate Mexican fiestas on the social calendar, it just didn’t seem all that summery. So after my Sunday swim and run, I came home and heated up a mug.
“Chill Cacao” tastes like a blend of the taste of Ovaltine and good hot chocolate, but the ingredients list hints at something more virtuous: L-tryptophan to promote relaxation; magnesium to calm and soothe the nervous system; gaba, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that may help calm the mind; glucuronolactone and taurine to promote increased mental performance; bacopa, an Ayurvedic herb that has been used for centuries to help with memory and focus; valerian root…and the list goes on. (Just reading about it made me sleepy—win!)
Stitching » Last month I finally gave in and tried StitchFix, basically a blogger’s rite of passage these days. It was a fun experiment, and one that I can see myself trying again when funds are a little more, shall we say, dispensable. I was glad that I liked at least one item (enough to not lose my styling fee) but I sent the other four items back. I kept a pair of stretchy black pants by Liverpool Jean Company that fit me so well it’s like they were molded to my body. Hooray for that! If you want to try it for yourself, go ahead and use my referral code, why don’t you?
That’s it that’s all! My next race is the San Diego Rock n’ Roll half on Sunday, which will be interesting, to say the least. And then, it’s the great Ironman Canada vs. Vineman 70.3 toss-up. A decision I’m trying not to obsess over, but, well, is easier said than done.