Saturday, June 25, 2011

Try a Tri? Okay.

After my sunrise adventure last Friday, I was changing into my work clothes at the gym locker room when I heard a couple women talking about triathlons. I've always been interested in triathlons for lots of reasons: it seems pretty badass, triathletes have the best bods eva, and unlike marathons (of which I've run three), there's variety. I joined in the conversation and one woman told me she was in our gym's tri club. She said the club had a lot of new folks who'd never done a tri before, and she loved it. She recommended that I join.

So I did.

And the next morning, I was gathered with a bunch of strangers, ready to run five miles. That was a week ago, and I've since attended almost every workout. And I'm tired. Really tired. But I'm going to keep going to the practices and see what happens.

When I was unemployed, I told myself when I got a full-time job, I'd do a tri. These suckers are expensive including the race costs and all the gear. But of course I never followed through, even though I've been a working girl since last spring. Afraid of something? Maybe just sacrificing my social life. Also, even though I can afford to buy a wetsuit, do I wanna? Do I want to be that girl who has a wetsuit hanging next to her summer dresses in the closet?

About one week in, I'm thinking maybe yes. I haven't registered for an actual race yet, but there's one at the end of August. I know that if I'm going to do this, I'm going to go all out. I'm not doing a wussy sprint tri. I'm going to do the Olympic distance, mile swim, 25-mile bike and 6-mile run.

But I still haven't regiatered yet...

I've always wanted to do this. For years and years. I think before I even aspired to run a marathon I thought about triathlons. I was worried I wouldn't know what I was doing, but the tri club has three coaches who are there for exactly that reason. It is pretty hard, too. Even though I'm always swimming/biking/kinda running, these practices are faster and tougher. So maybe I'm worried about being tired for two months straight.

I dunno why I'm so apprehensive about registering. Someone convince me?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Early Morning

I had trouble sleeping last night. I was extremely nervous that I was going to oversleep my alarm, which was set to wake me up at 4 a.m.

Last week, a friend had the brilliant idea to catch the sunrise on the lake. He emailed the group and everyone was ecstatic about it, except no one wanted to wake up too early. Unfortunately, waking up too early is how you catch the sunrise. A few of us were ecstatic enough to do what needed to be done in order to achieve this magnificent goal. Hence the 4 a.m. alarm, which I ended up not even needing. I was awake a couple hours earlier.

As I was leaving home, some people were just trickling out of bars. But the streets were pretty deserted, as you would imagine. We met at Chess Pavilion at 5 a.m. and watched the sun come up.

It was every bit as peaceful and pretty and wonderful as you'd imagine. Then we biked over to Lincoln Park Zoo to try to see some animals, but they were all sleeping. Who woulda thought camels sleep?

We then biked to a diner, where we ate leisurely breakfast and accepted every coffee refill that was offered. And then we biked to work.

I was glad I snapped myself out my regular routine to do this. It made me love Chicago more, because I saw a different part of the city.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Get 'Er Done

I like to be a busy person. I like to fill my day with this and that, the gym and French class and volunteering and baking some banana muffins and then maybe running to Dominick's to get a great deal on Greek yogurt. I have trouble just sitting around, unless I'm reading a book. Sitting around bores me to death.

But then, I don't have time to do my laundry or catch up on emails or figure out what I'm bringing for lunch tomorrow. Then I get all stressed out. 'I'M SO BUSY' I *wail* to myself. Then my roommate will innocently ask me "How was your day today?" And I will say "Oh, fine. Busy." But in my head I'm thinking 'JEBUS CRIPES I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO! HOW DO PEOPLE FINISH EVERYTHING IN 24 HOURS??!?!'

But remember how I said I like to be busy? And that I'm the one who adds all this stuff to my schedule? So me not getting home until 9 p.m. last night and being too tired (and hot) to cook dinner was no one's fault but my own.

Really it's just about prioritizing. Before I went to sleep last night, I made myself cut down the unread 100+ emails in my inbox down to 10. It didn't take that long, only about 20 minutes. But I felt a lot better because something looming was close to not looming anymore. Then I woke up early this morning and made a delicious lunch and got some things in order and was ready to start the day before I really needed to. Now, when I get home tonight and my roommate asks me how my day was, I can say "Oh, fine. Busy." but minus the screaming in my head part.

* this is a funny word and I like it very much.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Doctor Recommended Preparation H!

I bought a travel pack of Preparation H wipes yesterday. No, not because of the burning and itching on my butt. Because CVS paid me $2 to buy it! (yes I had coupons and stuff, but it'll take me too long to explain it. Just go here.) You know what $2 can buy you these days? Well about a fraction of a whole box of Maximum Strength Pain Relief Preparation H Cream, that's what! Also one Big Star taco or one sip of a Violet Hour drink.

But in all seriousness, I'll either ask around and see if anyone's having hemorrhoid problems, and offer the PH wipes as a thoughtful gift for their birthday or just because, or, I'll donate them. Unlike Extreme Couponing hoarder people, I don't have extra rooms, garages and deep freezers to store my stockpile of worthless crap I got for free with coupons. I only have two tubes of Colgate stocked up, not 100. Although I have to admit, it's sometimes hard to resist "buying" all that free toothpaste at times, but I do often resist, because how much toothpaste do one girl and her cat need?

I watched a few episodes of Extreme Couponing when the show first started, and I quickly got bored and frustrated. It's the same thing over and over: stay-at-home mom spends 40-8,203 hours a week clipping coupons and scouring ads and stores for the best deals, makes a detailed Excel spreadsheet, heads to store where she buys 100 bottles of Gatorade, 67 boxes of pasta, and 74 Milky Way Bars, among other things, hits minor snafu when all coupons won't scan because the cash register cannot process 1,000+ coupons in one transaction, but then it works out, pays 1 percent of what the stuff is worth, rolls outta the store a few hours later with 7 carts of junk guaranteed to give her whole family diabetes, HOORAY! Sorry if you haven't seen it, and I just ruined the show for you. :-/

I'm frustrated with the show because it doesn't give a realistic vision of how average people can save money with coupons. How you can get a lot of healthier foods and most toiletries for cheap, and how saving money doesn't need to be a full-time job. I save money on lots of stuff: yogurt, oatmeal, shaving cream, and body wash for example. And I don't dedicate my Saturday nights to rifling through people's garbage in hopes of finding their discarded coupon inserts (well, maybe just that one time. OKAY FINE I will admit to finding some coupons on the sidewalk when I was walking home late at night once and picking them up).

I buy what I need, and that's it. And I save heaps of money doing so. You can't argue with that!

And also, you know what? I read that "Prep-H has a well deserved reputation tightening eye bags and for aiding in the healing of dry, cracked and irritated skin." Maybe I'll jut keep those wipes to myself then.