Tag Archives: crazy induced insomnia

Go for it!

How the heck is it already Thursday again? Time, stop moving so fast, please.

Several things happened recently that seem connected and that require discussion.

Over the weekend, A(short for his real name), a person fairly close to me died. He was a boss, a mentor, and a friend. He died of an awful complication to a horrible disease and he wasn’t even fifty. His fire, his spirit, his zest for life, and his attention to detail in all aspects of his work and life marked him as special. He could make people cry easily with his brutal honesty, but rarely did so. He could use his force of personality to command the attention of a room full of people, and then use his sometimes surprising humor to set them all at ease before laying out whatever impossible, time-critical task we had to somehow finish this time. He worked hard, played hard, and found joy in life. It was much too soon to lose such a bright star. I miss him.

I have also joined an informal German class last week. Most of the members of this group are women and mothers (it meets at 10 am, what do you expect?). One of them is a 61 year old grandmother from Morocco. I had no idea she was that old until we did an exercise yesterday where we all said our ages out loud. We also learned that she married at 14, had her first child at 15, raised 7 children and now has 20 grandchildren. By most accounts, a successful life. She, however, due to the culture she was raised in, never learned to read and write. So she is now. At 61. In a second language. With joy and anticipation.

The message I am taking from these things is that:

1) It is NEVER too late to start.

2) But you have to start TODAY because we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

So go out and do it now. That thing that you always meant to do. It’s time. Don’t wait.


And of course, an image for TBT. This one is remotely connected to A.

The stalwart researchers on a month-long bio-physical interactions cruise off the coast of Barbados, 1996. This is where I learned the salp joke.

The stalwart researchers on a month-long bio-physical interactions cruise off the coast of Barbados, 1996. This is where I learned the salp joke. That’s me, 4th from the left.

It’s sort of a funny story. So, I’m not particularly good at telling jokes. I tend to drag them out too long, I don’t judge my audience well, etc. One of my favorite jokes is about hyperiid amphipods. It goes like this:
“How many hyperiid amphipods does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”

“None! They screw in salps!”

…and that’s the joke. Which only a very small subset of marine biologists even gets. So telling it to a room full of systems engineers is fairly high on the futility meter. A thought the room’s reaction (blank stares, dead silence) was so hilarious that whenever he was feeling down, he’d ask me to tell him the salp joke again, usually in front of an unsuspecting engineer, just so he could watch the reaction again. The telling got better every time. A, this one’s for you. I hope it makes you smile even now.

Advent 2013 Day 16 do all the things

We leave in a few hours for New York, I still haven’t finished yesterday’s post and I had a bit of pre-travel panic today. Swim class was great but things went downhill fast after that. To help counter that, some Christmas spirits:

Eggnog the Alton Brown way

Hot buttered Rum

Peppermint Patty


And if you didn’t grok the title of today’s post, this’ll help.

Maybe he's born with it. Maybe it's Meowbelline.

Maybe he’s born with it. Maybe it’s Meowbelline.

Advent 8 and 9: Winter Wonderland

Welcome to Advent weekend number 2. A double post as I missed yesterday, what with sleeping at night and all. I’ve been having serious problems with sleeping the last few weeks including crazy worry about races that are 7 months away, odd dreams (about my mother and swords, I don’t know either), and just general inability to actually fall asleep, so the fact that I was in bed by midnight and actually asleep by 1:30 was something of a miracle. Anyway, excuse time is over, on to the interesting part of the post.

First up, Advent chocolates from yesterday and today, which came with directions about maintaining an appropriate work/life balance (the two cornerstones of happiness are love and work). As you know, the Wife and I have got the love part figure out these days (marry someone who doesn’t object to your bicycle habit and likes to run, then actually manage to live on the same continent and in the same apartment after a couple of years of long distance relationship.) Thankfully, I have triathlon to take the place of work for the moment, that and German classes (and something else that I’ll tell you about in a few months if it all works out – keep your fingers crossed for me. It’s something that I really want to be able to do, but I’ve shot myself in the proverbial foot over this before, so I don’t want to jinx it.). AC/DC disappoints once again with repeats of the AC/DC logo (which looks a bit more like BC/DC on this one) yesterday and the lightning bolt today.

Day 8:  Santa's head has been eaten and replaced with the Lindt truffle. The AC/DC chocolate by his feet prophesies the coming apocalypse. Or maybe it's a partial list of who's been naughty...

Day 8: Santa’s head has been eaten and replaced with the Lindt truffle. The AC/DC chocolate by his feet prophesies the coming apocalypse. Or maybe it’s a partial list of who’s been naughty…

Continue reading


So, today is the day that I realize that there are only 30 weeks to go until Ironman and I completely freak out and can’t sleep because I have managed to convince myself that the month I’ve just taken it easy post-marathon was way too long, all my fitness is gone, I’m already behind the 8-ball and all hope is essentially lost.  This is partly because I found one 36 week plan and realized that I can no longer choose that plan as an option. There are literally hundreds of 13 to 28 week plans that I am still clearly capable of following and even Joe Friel himself says 23 is a good number of weeks and that even gives me 7 weeks of base building and strength work at the gym before it even starts. I’m going to have to get over these bouts of training panic because I can’t spend too many nights not sleeping over things like this.  I had a pretty good season that ended on a couple of great races, I’m healthy again, I needed these few weeks of non-plan based recovery and now I need to start off-season basebuilding with a clear heart and calm mind.  If by some miracle, you happen to stumble across this and have already done your first Ironman, feel free to tell me that I’m worrying about nothing and not helping myself at all by doing this.

This weekend I’ll post a recap of the last season (all the races I never wrote or finished the race reports for in one easy post) and the first part of my training plan for the winter and next season – the year of the Ironman. In July, you can help me plan which beach I’ll be sleeping on for a week as reward for whatever happens on that first Sunday. Also because it will be my birthday. To clarify, my birthday is in July, not this weekend.  The IM is also in July. The plan is to be done this weekend.