Category Archives: Team Mega Tough

Time for some house arrest

As usual, I am reporting in with a crazy-outta-control-post about my life at the moment. The last few months were quite certainly a blast, but am I ever glad they’re over! I made a map of my travel as of late, with the red heart being where home is (although I think my heart is elsewhere most of the time). After looking at this map, I am not quite sure how I survived these last several weeks. People who travel a lot for work: you have my sympathy.

August brought me some travelage to Colorado, where I paced my friend Andrea in the Leadville 100 (and also got altitude sickness) and then hung out with Baberaham in his soon-to-be-new-city of Fort Collins. That was a nice and relaxing trip, minus the puking at 11oooft. Once I got back, my parents drove to St Louis to visit and brought their dog, and we enjoyed a nice quiet weekend in St Louis.

September started with a quick trip to Michigan for my cousin’s wedding. While I was in the mitten, I recruited my dad to tag along to help volunteer at the Rev3 Cedar Point race on Sunday. The wedding was a blast, and Sunday was a huge Rev3 party. I was the volunteer coordinator for the wetsuit strippers and the run special needs bags. Although helping out at races is way more difficult than actually doing the race itself, I always have such a blast and come back feeling like I’ve accomplished something amazing.

Special thanks to the wetsuit stripping extraordinaires from Lifestyle Fitness in metro-Detroit!

After Cedar Point, I had a few days before leaving on an extended work trip, with a quick detour to hang out with some of my Mega Tough teammies in northern California. Unfortunately, the cat I adopted in May got seriously ill the night before I was supposed to leave, and I had to take him to the ER. I missed my flight because I was carting him around STL for second opinions and echocardiograms and EKGs, to find out my poor lil’ guy has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart). Had this happened 24hrs later, I would have been gone and my cat lady would have found him dead on my living room floor. I was relieved to find out that heart disease in cats is treatable, but I was stressed to the max and my bank accounts were depleted. So, if anyone is interested in adopting a special-needs cat, let me know. Jazzy is super cool, and his meds are getting ironed out… he needs pills twice a day but hopefully won’t need anymore ER visits again.

How can you say no to this cute face?

Eventually, thanks to some really truly amazing people who helped me out with Jasper, I did get to leave for California and met up with my girls as our race was starting in San Francisco. The plan was to race the Ragnar Relay Napa Valley as an ultra team. The execution of such plan failed, as we were pummeled one after the other with trials and tribulations, eventually ending in us pulling the plug after each of us completed our first of three legs. We chalked it up to our fun levels (which were negative from the beginning) and our safety (which was terrorist threat level RED), and we cruised back to Berkeley for some real sleep, real running, and real girl-time fun. I was disappointed with this Ragnar, for a lot of different reasons, because we’ve always had so much fun and success at these events. Oh, well- guess its time for our Mega Tough ladies to take our running shoes elsewhere (trail relay, anyone?).

On Saturday, we slept in and then headed to Mount Tam for some seriously awesome trail time. Aside from rolling my ankle really bad after about 2hrs, I had an absolute blast and we got the much needed girl bonding time that we were not getting in the Ragnar van. And, we got to wear our super-rad shirts that Margot made for us. Score!

Bringing MHz to Napa Valley

After my quick 24ish hours in NoCal, I headed to San Diego for a conference, and then hung out at UCSD in LaJolla for a few days learning some techniques for my research. It was fun and educational, and I am supergeeked about this collaboration!
But my trip didn’t end there. After San Diego, I flew to Marquette and Baberaham picked me up. Some of our grad school friends were getting married in Wausau, so I stayed in Houghton for a day or two and then we drove with friends to the Land of Beer and Cheese for one of the best weddings of the decade.

I was glad to finally head home after so much traveling and stress, mostly because I wanted to see my kitty and just have some downtime. Fortunately, while I was gone, I have some super-excellent-friends that took care of my special-needs guy and gave him so much attention. I don’t know what I’d do without them.
Downtime didn’t really happen, although I got a nice long ride in on my Scott Plasma before I put it up for sale. About a week later, I headed to Anderson, South Carolina for Rev3‘s last race of the season. I was helping with the run course, and my job on race day was making sure that the Rev3 HalfRev run course was solid and safe. There’s lots I’ve learned from triathlon racing about pacing, nutrition, and tapering, but I still have lots to learn about triathlon staffing. My nutrition for race day included potato chips and candy bars around 4pm, which is terrible because I had gone two weeks without any processed food. Oh, well. A calorie is a calorie.
 
After I got back from South Carolina, Baberaham put me on house arrest, and I am super geeked to not be traveling again until at least Thanksgiving (maybe Christmas?). I’m also in the process of trying to find a new place to live that has cheaper rent so I can save up some money for our wedding next fall.
I am so geeked to be in STL for a while. Last night, I enjoyed some cyclocross at Queeny Park, and both Baberaham and my TMT girl, Jess, are coming to spend some time here (Jess is doing the Rock and Roll Half Marathon next weekend).
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What I've been doing for 10 days away from Blogland

I admit it. It’s been a while. It’s been a whirlwind, ridiculous, awesome (and busy) ten days. There’ve been weddings, races, weekends, and wine.

The craziness began with an 11hour drive and a wedding downstate. Baberaham stood up in his great friend’s wedding. We were able to enjoy some time with his family and some drives in his dad’s 1954 TF MG.

The wedding was outdoors at a camp/resort near Fenton, Michigan. The weather was perfect, the bride looked beautiful, and the bride and groom came out to some Dio (Holy Diver to be exact). B looked absolutely handsome in his tuxedo. The only downside was that I accidentally turned off the fuel pump off while trying to turn on the heat (stinkin’ unlabeled toggle switches under the dash!).

After the wedding, B and I headed up north. He dropped me off in Marquette for our girls’ getaway at the Blueberry Ridge Bed and Breakfast. With Marg’s upcoming wedding and ever-piling-stress, the gals from Team Mega Tough thought it would be a good idea to haul her away for a few nights of wine and cheese and chick time. We had delicious breakfasts, awesome runs, and excellent chats. We even did some blueberry picking and took a trip to Grand Island for a long run.

After the girls’ getaway, it was back to Houghton for some work (me) and some wedding preparations.

With bridal showers and barbecues, I was a little less than ready for the 10mile race I do every July- the Hancock Canal Run. My training hasn’t been stellar as of late, and I have been sore, slow, and unhappy. I wasn’t planning on any specific pace, holding onto the hope for a 7:15 (which I was second-guessing and self-doubting all the way up to the morning of). Luckily, Jess was there and stuck it out with me, and we cruised through the first 8 miles at a super-steady 6:50 pace. Sweeeet. I finished in the low 1:09’s, with Jess just a few seconds in front of me, and I was ecstatic to have hit a Canal Run personal record and to not just squeak under the 70min mark. I definitely wasn’t expecting a PR, but I was happy to grab it. I ended up third in my AG with Jess taking 2nd.

After the race, we showered and got our awards, and then headed up to the Jam Pot for some sweets. It was soon time to head to the park for Marg’s wedding, and I was the family photography organizer. Being the bossy gal that I am, we got through the photos without a hitch and started the ceremony on time! Woot.

With TMT in full effect, we rocked out the night with some great food, great friends, and great dancing. I couldn’t have asked for a better week, and I saw so many people and got to catch up with some amazing friends that I haven’t seen in a while (and some that I have). It’s amazing to me how flawless reunions can be, and we’re already planning our next one.