Miles of Life ~ My life as a donut Kylie Donia

Archive for November, 2005

cloudy run

Wednesday, November 30th, 2005

Yesterday afternoon the sky was a gorgeous blue, and it was just cool enough in the shade that I picked to wear light long sleeves, while my training partner went for short sleeves. We headed out, our legs still feeling a bit heavy. But my new running shoes feel like running on clouds… I'm definitely happy with them! And so we headed out, with a 45 min run planned. Around 2.5 miles, it started to feel comfortable. And by mile 3, we were cruising. Our last 1.5 miles were at about 30 seconds per mile faster than the others had been, and felt a bazillion times easier. And after, we stretched, and when I went to karate last night I felt more flexible than I have lately. The little frustrations during the rest of the work day were nothing… I was still on cloud nine from the run! And it as good.

Q: if a train…

Monday, November 28th, 2005

… leaves Ontario at 3:24 pm travelling at 60 mph, and a train leaves Tucson at 1:05 am travellingat 60 mph, what city will they pass in, and at what time?

A: No one freakin' knows.

Let's just say while the train let me avoid airports, lines, and layovers, it definitely isn't a reliable way to travel if you are on a tight schedule. It was nice though to have way more leg room than flying, complete with a leg rest like lazy boy chair style on the seats, and being able to use my phone. But Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only 2 days a year that Union Pacific doesn't run trains, so the day before they are trying to move around tons of junk, and freight gets priority at all intersections.

However, my trip was great (crochet and reading and sleeping on the train, and on the way back had a baby blanket so was less cold!). I got to spend tons of time with my brother Ryan, sister-in-law Jenny, and cutest nephew in the world, Ethan, along with various member's of the family on Jenny's side. Big crowd, yummy food. Ethan is now walking, and damn is he cute!

Friday Ry and Ethan and I went hiking. I call it the "Ethan Challenge 2005" for it was much like an adventure race. Trying to use a poorly made forest service map, and navigating trails with a baby and an off-road jeep baby stroller. Climbing up and over rocks that way, with Ethan in one of Ry's arms, and the front of the stroller in his other hand, as I lift the back of the stroller. It was a nice day of walking though, and soon we stuck to the paved path, but we had our taste of adventure 🙂

Of course there were disturbing moments as well… like when Jenny, holding Eth, said "let's gross out auntie Kylie…" and pulled his diaper down a bit so I could see his tush. "Isn't taht a cute little tush?" "yeah…" I said. "It's just like Ryans!" D'oh! And cute moments… holding Ethan by the fridge, he is pointing at pictures, and I am saying things like "who is that? [pause] Daddy?" And then after "who is that?" on a pic of him he said "ME!" At least I think that's what he said.

Oh and a great idea of Ry and Jenny's… they use signs with Ethan, and have forever. Like the actual sign language ones… for "please", and "thank you", and "more", among others, as they said the word for it. So it means that right now, as he knows what he wants to say, but can't form the words, he mumbles/grunts/says things, but uses some of the signs. So when he wants more, he actually can tell you that is what he means.

It was a nice, long, relaxing weekend. I did much resting, which was great, and much baby-time, which was also great. Damn they are cute 🙂 Oh and I packed my running shoes, and remembered to pack them for the trip home, too! 😉 The benefit though? It's left me wanting to get back out and train, instead of feeling I should.

Today had a nice bike ride, but again the training buddy got a flat. *sigh* He needs to work on his flat tire karma!

*ducks*

Monday, November 21st, 2005

Now all of you people who live in places with weather might not want to read this…

This weekend was nice and lazy… some karate, and then a bbq at the pool. About 15 or so of us gathered in shorts and tshirts, but still found the shade since as the day was a bit on the warm side.

I spent pretty much the rest of the weekend reading and sleeping. After that and being out sick from work Thursday and Friday, I think I feel better. Just one of those "stuffy, sore throat, need sleep" kind of things.

Oh also ran 6 miles on Thursday, and again on Friday. With my friend Jeremy. Another good thing about moving: he'll be fairly close by.

sleepy easy week so far

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

So tired this week, and since it's also post a 24 hr deal I'm taking it easy. Monday was the official day off (from driving to work and from working out). And last night I was considering running to karate, but I was just too drained. Instead I've been working on some crochet xmas gifts (and a birthday gift… I'm half way and have a day left).

In weeks in which I race for 24+ hours and am totally stressed for most
of it, and during which Stephen (my roommate one, not runner one here =P) asks where I keep vitamin C, and which
find Holly and Jeremy (my roommate-to-be and her boy) taking vitamin C together in the evenings, I
shouldn't be surprised by starting to feel a bit craptacular.

It's the Journey

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

This last race was, well, quite a learning experience. Warning: this is very long….

It started as a
team built from eCamp — myself, Ryan (another participant), Chris (a
volunteer), and Duncan (a friend of Chris’). First I rolled my foot
(but it is doing mostly better so I still raced), then Duncan got hit
by a car (ok but not able to race) and then Chris’ mom got really sick
(so he was out as well). Down to a two person team, we needed a third
to race, and finally the Tuesday or Wednesday before the race I got in
touch with Zach, of the PQ 2006 team, and he was going to be able to
make it. However, maybe we should have heeded some of those warnings…

Disclaimer:
the following story is very much my own memory and feelings and
opinions on everything. Some parts are a bit harsh, and may not have
been reality anywhere other than in my view. I still think all people
on the team are good people, and what happens during a race happens.
However, they are still events to learn from, and this is my experience
of my least favorite race ever.

Here it is… the long await (and really long) race writeup.

Friday
we were to drive up to Northern CA to Modesto for the meeting. I was
glad that for once I wouldn’t have to drive, and my car would be spared
some miles. We were to meet at 9, and leave at 10. Although we met a
bit late, we were still ready to leave at the same time. However, Zach
tells us upon arriving that his axel bearings are shot, and his truck
is not reliable. No other vehicle can fit 2 ocean kayaks and 3 bikes,
so we end up needing to take two cars, and yes, I end up getting to
drive. Oh well, you have to get there somehow.

The drive up
was actually pretty good. Zach and I chatted about many things, and I
started feeling more and more comfortable with the PQ team idea. We
talked about why we race, and wanting commitement from the team
members. About the fun of races, and being there for the experience.
Hours later (around 7 I think) we arrived at the meeting place, and I
hung out as the boys made a grocery run. I saw many good race buddies
arrive — the Big Bear team I have raced with — all members there for
racing or support crew, Jorge from Brazil who was also at eCamp, Maitai
(a girl I have seen around racing), Rich (the ubervolunteer), Randy,
and of course some new friendly faces. Randy supplied me with all the
ropes gear I could want (ok all I needed), we got our team checked in,
and enjoyed very yummy pasta!

It was finally meeting time. The
course was all to be done in order, and had 37 checkpoints (CPs)! We
got them onto our map (some already drawn for us, other copied off of
maps at the meeting) and highlighted our planned attack route. We were
just in time, as then the store we were at was going to close up, and
our team drove to the start, where we camped that night. Since it was
going to be a 9:30 am start on Saturday, we left our gear organizing
and packing for the morning. Got up in the cool air, and got everything
together. This was quickly done, race gear on, and we were set for the
day to begin!

It was a kayak start. All the boats lined the
shore, ready to be pushed into the water and jumped into. The water was
nice and chilly (we were at 4700 feet), but we weren’t expected to have
to really get soaked. We started on the kayak for 3 points (one
involving a decent trek up a mountain). Our team went with having me
and Zach in the double kayak, and Ryan in the single. We soon figured
out that the double was moving much faster, and ended up having Ryan
paddle in our draft for a while, and then just attached a towline as
well for the final stretch. I jumped out of the boat to grab the first
two points (with the second ending in soaked shoes), and we secured our
boats for the trek up to our third point. This was some fairly thick
bushwacking! I was in trishorts and short sleeves, saving my longer
pants for that night when it would be cold, and not thinking about the
amount of junk on a hillside. My legs now have pretty decorations, or
lots of scrapes, but none that were horrible. It was a tough climb for
me (the boys are just much stronger) and the scrapping I got as they
had pants on while picking the routes wasn’t making it easier. I often
had to call out to find where they had gone, as it was hard to see over
some of the taller brush, or at times they’d get just a bit too far
ahead. And we made it to the top, and picked a great route on the way
down. Back into the kayak, 3 of 37 points down. We paddled to where we
had started, which was also CP4 and ACP (assisted check point) 1, where
we had access to our crew: Ryan’s dad, Charlie. Into trekking gear,
refuel, dry socks and shoes, I stopped shivering and we head out again.

Right off the bat again I find myself walking in the back. Now
I don’t mind sometimes being to the back, but it’s mentally draining to
always be the last person, and a decent amount of that time alone. Ryan
would often drop back for a bit, but in general our team was just a bit
spread out. There was also no talking, except about directions really,
or reminders to eat or drink. That again was tough mentally, as it left
you plenty of time to reflect on the pain, frustration, and little
things you wish were different. Finally, when we got way spread out
going up to CP5 I stopped the boys and, already frustrated, told them
it wasn’t working for me, that I was tired of constantly having to
either ask them to slow up so that we’d stay together better, or call
out to find them at all. The other problem was that we weren’t
communicating well — I was not keeping as up with the map as I should,
and they weren’t relaying information as much as they should. I told
them that if I had to keep always asking to slow down, or calling out
to find them, I would soon be done, as it wasn’t fun for me nor was it
why I race. They appologized, and said it was tough to pay attention to
all of it, but that they’d try. And we contined back down that hill.
While many teams recrossed the damn towards CP4 at this point, we saw a
dirt road that saved us scramblind down the tall, rocky damn face. This
brought us head of about 3 teams we were near. Mostly jogging, and some
walking, we made it to CP6, which was the rapel. As a rapel, it was
mostly a formality. Not super tall (someone said 60-85 ft), nothing too
spectacular to see, and just walking down the rock (no free hanging
section). Quickly through it, we continued to CP7. Here our
navigational issues started cropping up. There was going to need to be
some more bushwacking, and we were basing how far on crossing a 4×4
trail and then higher up finding a Railroad grade which the CP would be
on. We also knew that from CP6 it should be pretty much south.

We
pick a spot to start scrambling up the mountain (luckily it was less
scratchy stuff — or at least my long pants made it feel that way). We
crossed a few areas that might have been trails, but nothing we were
sure would appear on this map. Here I remembered something Teddy (of
Big Bear AR) said before the race. He mentioned how they were noticing
tons of off-shoots not on the map, which makes sense in a logging area.
The roads are constantly changing, and an altimeter is going to be key.
Here I was wishing for an altimeter, as we finally came to a road that
looked like it would be on the map. Now, was it the 4×4 trail
(supposedly single track) or the RR grade (wider, flat)? Without an
altimeter, it was hard to know. So we took it. Yet soon I felt we were
going too far east. How could we tell? Here I had a nav idea (rare for
me) and took a bearing to a mountain. We knew what mountain it was as
we could also still see the rapel point. The bearing to it was at this
point just about exactly what it should be for CP7! Yet we saw nothing.
After some debate, it was decided to continue on the trail we were on.
Howeve, we continued for too long. We should have remembered also that
the bearing mean we should be close. I think the main problem with our
nav was the lack of compass use. I used mine a few times, but don’t
think Zach did much, and am not sure about Ryan. I think Zach (and as a
result the team, as we could have spoken up) relied way too much on the
way the roads should go, as based off the map. I didn’t even see how
big of an issue this really was until between CPs 11 and 12 some hours
later, when I realized I could find simliar bends in tons of roads, as
well as earlier and later on the right road. However, that comes later
in this story. We finally turn back, and find CP7. The person manning
it had seen us go by, saw us check maps and discuss if we were on the
right road, and continue. At that time, the 7th place team was with
him. But the time we got there, we were down in 12th! Yet CP8 was
rightalong that same road, and was also ACP2, where we’d pick up our
bikes. So down the road we continued.

By the time we arrived I
was already a bit upset. I still felt Zach was constantly walking ahead
of me, or me and Ryan at times. I didn’t feel there was much team
effort going in, and was starting to feel not part of a team. That’s
never a good sign that early in an AR! It was still light out! CP8, and
on our bikes, we head out again. Again using bends in the roads throws
us off at CP9, as we pick a hill too soon to start looking, as it had
the same kinds of turns before it. We find the point, and end up
meeting up with another team here (I believe My Three Dads, if that is
really the name of Jeff and Michael’s team). They have their own issue
when we all reach CP9: they can’t find their passport. We have ours,
get it punched, and continue. Here was a big low. We head out to 10,
which is (it turns out) and out and back. However, I don’t know this,
and am not sure if we are yet on the road to 10 or still have turns
before it. It’s now definitely dark, and we are biking up a dirt road.
We start getting spread out, and Ryan asks how I’m doing. Good, I say,
but this pace is about all I can do. And we continue. I don’t ask for
tow, but one is also not offered, and the boys continue up the hill,
around a bend, and out of site. I pedal a bit longer, and then just
stop, completely frustrated. I can’t see them, don’t know for sure
where I am headed, and it’s just like that trek issue all over again.
As I’m stopped and just standing on the trail, the team we’d just seen
comes by. They ask if I’m ok, and clearly I’m not. They ask where my
team is, and I don’t know. So they tell me to just bike with them, and
enjoy the ride (as I know them, and they know that I like AR for the
fun aspect). I continue with them, behind a few of them. As those in
front of me turn a corner I hear one of the boys on my team say “Kylie?
Where were you?” and the person answer that he wasn’t me, but that I
was with them. I get up there and just tell the boys what I’m thinking.
About being tired of being dropped. About being tired of Zach always
staying ahead. About not having fun, about not feeling I’m on a team,
about how another team was nice enough to make sure I was ok, and bring
me into their group. About being done with the race (not all such nice
words were used, either). They say sorry, and that I need to say
something. To which I say I did, on the trek. That it was exactly what
I was talking about there. Zach replies that things have changed and we
are on bikes now, he didn’t know. And I (very sarcastically) respond
“oh right! I forgot! I *like* biking up hills in the dark by myself
when I’m not sure where I’m going!” He replied that he is also sick of
my sh**, and soon that he is also done. Ryan sorta stands there during
this, and I felt sorry for him. Yes, he was doing a decent job of
making sure things were going ok for me, but if one person gives me a
non-team feeling, it can carry unless it is stopped. We end up just
continuing, as there is nothing else we could really do at this point.

CP11
passes fairly uneventfully (with us and the other team still basically
together), and we proceed to CP12. Here our nav by road turns bit us
badly. We found one intersection, and continued on our merry way,
missing a sharp turn. However, we went a good 5-8 miles out of the way.
On paved roads, but still climbing a lot. We finally figured it out
when another team passed us, and said that CP12 was about 5 miles back,
and up a hill. And I have a hard time eating on the bike. Although I
did ok, that was way too bug of an energy drain for me. We ended up
figuring out that we were one road west on the map of where we wanted
to be (with the help of some nicely drunk campers), and that going back
down and to the right road was the best way. We went back, and climbed
and climbed and climbed up to 12. Part of the time I was towed, parts I
just rode. We reached 12, and continued. We came to a stream, and Zach
tried to ride it. It didn’t work, and he ended up with wet feet. But
was across. Ryan walked his bike across on some slippery rocks, and
made it. He turned to come back and help me with my bike, but in the
process he slipped, ending up with wet shoes and a wet glove. So he
ended up just giving me a piggyback across, while walking my bike. It
takes me longest to get warm of the 3 of us, and I get cold the
easiest, but it still would have been nice if we were all more dry. We
missed another turn, and as a result got to cross, and then recross,
another creek. This one had a fairly flat path through, and wasn’t
quite as deep, so we just rode it. Of course, this also means that now
all our feet were soaked.

We soon hit the main road, which
we’d follow to CP13. Keep in mind that it is now definitely dark
(around 11 at night) and we are at 5000 ft. It was around 35 degrees
out, and that was before windchill. On the bikes, it was a paved
section where we were going to drop down to 4200 feet. Add in the wind
of our bikes flying down the hill, and the wet shoes, and our feet were
numb! Passing through ACP3/CP14 (and not checking in), we drop our
bikes, and climb out to CP13, on a hill behind the ACP. We figure out
where it is, and when almost there Zach realizes the map, and our
passport, are gone. They came unclipped from around his neck, and only
the string remains. He and Ryan run off, retracing steps to find them,
and having me wait since they can climb faster. Somehow, they found the
maps and passport laying under a bush, and we get CP13 and proceed back
to CP14/ACP3, checking in, and then checking out and continuing on our
way to CP15/ACP3B.

At CP15/ACP3B, we were to drop our bikes
and any bike gear we wanted, and then continue on our way. We could
pick up no gear, and we could not have contact with our crew guy (as he
should have shown up after we were gone). However, to save a shoe
change, we had biked there in our trekking shoes (as we’d be continuing
with a trek, or so we though). This ended up going not great, as I
found that my foot which had been rolled some time before got lots more
stress on it trying to pedal without the stiff-soled bike shoe, and
that all the pressure was right along the injury. So I ended up walking
sections there, hoping not to set off my foot. At CP15/ACP3B, we found
we were far enough behind that we had a short course option: we could
hit as many or as few of the trekking CPs as we wanted (16-21), and
then a bike pick up with no crew assistance at 22, and bike to 24. We
could even just bike straight to CP24, which was also ACP4, and along
that same main road. Tired, and mentally done with the race, our team
opted to go straight to ACP4/CP24.

We dropped a bit more
elevation, and then started climbing, and kept climbing. Mentally not
into the race, and over the whole idea of being our fastest, combined
with not getting in enough cals on the bike in the previous section, I
just couldn’t climb all of it. Ryan towed me for a while, but even that
soon didn’t work, as my legs just didn’t want to pedal. I had to walk
some, and zoned out while doing so, going through motions but not
really there. This was probably my personal low point physically in the
race. We climb and climb, and soon Zach turns. “Do you guys even plan
to finish this?” he askes. Yes, we answer. “When? Noon tomorrow? We are
walking a f***ing paved road!”. “I’m trying my best” I say (not quite
true, and I knew it, but it was the best that I could give to that
team, as the fire and mental drive to get to 110% was completely out,
and I was already debating ever racing with Zach again). He repeats how
it is a paved road, and goes on to say how I said I know how to do AR,
and how I’ve done 24 hour races, and I’m not as good at them as I claim
to be (I’ve never claimed that, I’ve just told him I’ve finished ones
that were tough for me, and that I just keep going). He asked if I knew
what I was getting into when I signed up for this race. I’ve never
before had a teammate make a low worse, or ever in AR been told things
like that. All other people I’ve talked to have encouraged me, and
non-AR people have found interest in it just from my stories, and the
enthusiasm I get from races. Here I knew: I would never race with Zach
again. Including PQ2006. And I became glad I learned this in a 24 hour
race, instead of a 5-10 day one. This was about 15 hours into a race,
and yes, we were tired, and not moving as fast as we’d like. Yes, I was
contributing to that speed. However, so did our nav errors. Looking
back, it’s almost as if he took all the frustration from the race not
going perfectly, and made it all my fault in his head, and took it all
out on me. Yes, I contributed by not being as strong a racer as he
thought I could be, but lots of factors had drained my strength that
day. Right after this, I tell Ryan let’s try again, and we climb on the
bikes, but Zach doesn’t, as he can see transition around the corner,
and says we might as well walk it in since that’s what we’ve been doing
anyways. We get there, and the person we check in with can tell we are
not doing well, and I tell him that apparently I’m not good enough for
some people on the team. And yes, I shouldn’t have said anything, but
after that I didn’t care about other people knowing the issues within
our team. I was completely over the race.

Walking into ACP4,
Donny (of Big Bear, who was crewing, and who I raced Baja with) was
near the entrance. I stop at him, and give him a huge hug, telling him
what is going on and being very upset, hurt, and drained. He tells me
to keep strong, that I can do it, and talking to him makes me know I
will finish this race. I will keep going, until either timed-out or
done. I don’t care how many points we skip on our way to the final CP,
but I will get there. Even if other teammates decide it isn’t worth it,
I will continue unranked. It is a race, and people say things they
don’t mean (Donny was great and talked to me again after the race,
emphasizing how it means not that someone is a bad person, but can mean
you should never race with them again — thanks Donny). I get to our
crew spot, and just stand there with my bike. Ryan’s dad ends up taking
it, and soon tells me to come sit down. So I do. Ryan says maybe we
should grab a 25 minute nap. I have no opinion on it, either way works
for me. We end up taking on, and it ends up taking about 2 hours. But
we finally get up and back on the road: on our feet looking for CP25.

We
never did find it, and 1.5 hours later give up, go back through CP24 to
the main road, which we know will take us to CP26. Getting there is
uneventful, and we are told from there we can do whatever we want. We
can hit every remaining point, or even just continue down the same road
straight for the finish. So we skip 27, 28, and 29 (offroad mtb
section) and head to 30, where we skip 31,32, and 33 (a small mtb
loop). We hit point 34 (on the main road) where we drop our bikes, trek
through 35 (simply because getting or skipping it would be about the
same distance and time, and to 36 (again on the main road) where we get
our bikes back. From there, it’s just straight on the road to the
finish, and after passing the turn into it (it was hard to see) we made
it. We were done.

Having left my car (with both kayaks) at the
start, Charlie and I soon drove up to get them. I figured it would be
easier then than waiting til the adrenaline wore off, and didn’t really
want to sit around with the team quite yet. So we got it (it took about
1-1.5 hours total to get to it and then to return). We ate food, I won
a shirt at the raffle, and we sorted gear and got the cars repacked.
The good thing about having driven was that I changed my route home,
going through Claremont (and ended up crashing there that night). It
meant I didn’t get to head back with my teammates, which was ok as I
really needed some time to sort thoughts and really be calm before
talking to Zach. It also worked out well as Rich needed to get to the
same area, so I still had company for the ride home, helping me stay
awake and even driving one section. By doing this, I got to people who
I needed to be around after such a mentally tough weekend — Mike
cooked pasta for us all, and I got to be with him, Holly, and Jeremy.
Good soothing medicine.

Lessons learned:

  1. Get better at eating on the bike.
  2. I do best with a team that is focused, but still chats and enjoys the journey.
  3. Words of race reasons won’t always match actions. Only way to learn
    that is to race with someone, and then move on if it is time to do so.
    A great training partner might be an awful race teammate. I’m there for
    the race as an experience, not the winning and being the best as the
    experience (although they can be a nice bonus).
  4. Sacrifice
    races that look cool if there is a chance you’ll be left with a bad
    taste in your mouth. I will not be racing PQ 2006 with that team, as no
    matter how cool the race might be, it just wouldn’t be worth it. This
    was a tough decision, no matter how clear it seems on the mountain.
  5. Improve nav, to have a better idea when I think we are on the wrong
    path which wrong path it is, so that I can give more help with
    navigation and also give my ideas with more confidence.
  6. Altimeters are good!
  7. I have the best support in my friends and family, and people who don’t know me can just be wrong.

In
our race bags there were Lance-style bracelets that say “It’s the
Journey”. I found it rather fitting, especially after the race. It is
why I am there. Yes, going fast is good, and I would love to get faster
and I work on doing so. But it’s not my only or primary goal. A good
time, an experience that makes me grin. That is why I’m there.

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” Robert Louis Stevenson (my quote of the day for Sunday… very apropriate)

Back to the Past in the Future

Monday, November 7th, 2005

Sunday Holly and I signed a lease! We got the cute little duplex right near the Claremont Village (town center). It's adorable, and all will be invited to our housewarming 😉 Oh, and this is the town I went to college in… so that explains the topic line of this post.

I also got in some fun workout time this weekend, among the lots of driving and seeing of fun people. Saturday did karate for a hour, yogo for an hour, and swam about a mile before heading to a party. Sunday I ran 10 miles before heading to a brunch, and then later dinner with friends. Umm… ow? The run that is… I was planning a shorter run (6-8ish) but was feeling good… however, it meant I wore shorts I know rub and no bodyglide. Yes, I'm paying for it today. Oops. But lots and lots of yummy food! We went to a Costa Rican place for dinner, and it was great!

movin' about

Friday, November 4th, 2005

Today is so far a better day than much of this week has been (concert excepted). Although my horoscope has some issues.
It's telling me to think about starting an exercise program, and to
consider walking and yoga. Yoga is cool, but I don't know if I really
need to start an exercise program. If so, what is what I spend all my
free time doing called?

Ran
about 6 miles (leaving out my favorite hill) and then did karate this
morning. The foot was a bit sore for
basics (that whole sideways pressure) but I was able to modify most of
it to fix that.

Talked to my mom last night. Wait back up a sec…
first last night Holly and I checked out another place in Claremont. A bit more $$
than I was hoping to find a place for, but we won't find a better one.
2 bed, one bath, just redone kitchen and parts of the bathroom, nice
big living room, little dining nook, laundry (coin-style) across from
our door, a cat is ok, tons of storage in the place and a garage, and
room for 3 cars. It's about 2 blocks from where she lives now. I really
like it, and it's also a lot nicer than we expected to find in our
price range. Oh and the landlord was awesome. Talked about helping rig up some
system to make it easy to store a kayak out of the way of parking in
the garage (just to make it easier) and upgrading lights and working
with us about a pet and everything.

So… it's hard. I really didn't know. But talked
to my mom last night. About the 1-1.5 hours I'd save on commute time
each day, and how I'd be able to use metrolink (she said she'd be happy
to have me driving less, I didn't mention too much how I'd be biking
around cars more). About worries that it would be hard on my friendship
with Holly, as we do have slightly different living styles (but both
respect common areas, have slightly different schedules to where we'd
still get alone time, and slightly different friends groups/activities
so all our time wouldn't be together, and we have talked about all
that). About how Stephen is about the perfect roommate for me, and how
I'd miss him, and how I worry I won't see him and Andy as much (and she
made a good point about living where it is best to live, and visiting
people you like). And about how the karate school will still be in
Irvine for training, and I'll just have to visit Andy and Stephen when I go there for
karate stuff. Kinda like switching from crashing at Holly's
occasionally and living in Irvine to crashing in Irvine sometimes and
living with Holly. About how even if Holly and J end up leaving the
area, that's months away, and I can always move again, and find new
people to live with. And how there are other Claremont area people I
like, and I will get to see more of them, too. It's an odd transition
to me though… as I'm at the karate studio less, I'm finally moving
back close to it.

My mom has this way of knowing with some
decisions what I want, and what would be best for me, and making sure I
have considered all options and reminding me of those I haven't, and
being able to tell from talking to me which answer I need to be (or
should be) convinced of. And she is good at doing just that. Soooo… I
think it's time to move on. To become a metrolink rider and bike
commuter. To spending time with people I care about without having to
live right with all of them.

preconcert workouts and U2

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005

Yesterday's workouts were pretty good. Swim about 1650 yds. 3×500 (10 min, 9:45, and like 9:20ish) and a 150yd pull to cooldown. So I was happy with that. Was a bit annoyed though… there were 2 of us sharing a lane, doing our thing. With like 100yds to go in my second 500 some girl jumps in and starts swimmingweaving about in our lane "to avoid us" as she said. But this confused us, and the other guy ended up almost swimming directly into me. So I stopped her and was like dude, you need to let people know when you are joining and not jump in when they are in the middle of sets. And she made tons of excuses about how she hasn't swam with people in a while and I was like yeah, so let 'em know you want to get in, and wait for a finished set. And then we swam circles, after making sure all 3 of us knew what was up, which was fine. But she wanted to talk about how far was just swam, and how long it had been since she swam during my rests between sets. And I wanted to be in my zone, enjoying the feel of the water. So it threw off the feeling a bit. Probably the last time I jump in the water around 2 in an attempt to avoid crowds! It was busier than I've seen the pool in a while (this was at Lisa's pool).

After the swim got in a nice 3.3 miler just running on roads around the gym. Heartrate was a bit higher than I wanted, but that's what I get for going hard in the swim immediately before. Was the first real run after a week and a few days off for my foot, and it felt great mentally, alright physically. Foot was a bit achey, but nothing big.

And now for the complete U2 story…

Monday night Holly calls me. "Did you get Mike's message?" Oooh… I remember. That's right! I had been juggling a bazillion calls in the car, and my phone had stopped reminding me I had voice mail as a result. So I check it. He has an extra ticket to U2… for the following night. I waver… on one hand, it would be fun to spend time with him, and U2 would probably be fun as well. However, I was really looking forward to swimming and yoga that night, and am not a huge fan of concerts. Especially with 2.5 million (or ok, 20,000) people. I call him back, no answer, and end up leaving a non-commital message. He calls back around 11:30, and his excitment is kinda contagious so I decide to go. Yes, Kylie went on an actual date which did not involve exercise, and involved wearing real clothes. Kinda weird!

Last night I met him at his place in Claremont and we headed to LA. We made good time — got there by about 5:45. Parking was easy, and traffic wasn't really bad at all around the Staples Center, which was a nice surprise. We found our seats, and just chilled and talked, waiting for Jeannie (from Village Grill) and Scott, and watching people. Out seats were pretty much the best in the place. Exactly center, and up just high enough. Oh, and no one in front of us at all, but still a bar so my feet had a place to let me sit funny.

Soon Jeannie and Scott arrived, and the opening band began. It was reggae by some Marley relative, and definitely enjoyable. Then… yes, it was time: U2. They were pretty damn cool. Played a number of songs I like, plus a few I didn't know but still liked. As much as I enjoyed the music, I think I enjoyed their little comentary and such just as much, if not more. Of course he talked about the "ONE" campaign, and other political stuff. Pulled a girl out of the audience and sang "With or Without You" hugging her and rubbing her hair. But one of my favorite parts was that it was the drummer's birthday. So they wore shirts that said "the Larry Mullen band" and sang him happy birthday. They also read posters that people in the standing area had, and one was "professor for hire" and they asked what he would teach, and he gave Bono books. Bono was like "great, I get the books, Edge gets the girls, [some band member gets something I don't remember] and… Larry has the giant penis". Later after one of the few encores he walked out and was like "hey, there was a group with posters saying guitar player, singer, etc. Where are you?" It was a group of four youngish girls, and he pulled them up. "Well, it's Larry's birthday and Larry would totally get a girl band. What are you going to play?" And play they did… the drummergirl was pretty damn fun to watch, the guitar girl I could see also just had fun. The singer? Waaaay nervous, esp when Bono shared the mic with her and sang with her! But it was way cool, and the audience loved 'em.

At the end, Larry thanked us for coming to his birthday party, and was all cute and such. And we headed out. Again no traffic, and it was a very easy drive home (after we got through the spooky horror movie area we had to go through). Back to Holly's, and wooo sleep!

U2, slacker!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

It was a fun weekend… mtn biking, tons of road biking, kayaking (almost 10 miles!), parties… mmm 🙂 And Halloween was fun, 'cause I got new running shoes! They are shiney and purple! It's great!

So I'm a slacker and going to miss yoga and swimming tonight. I'm kinda sad, 'cause I was really looking forward to it. However, I will be going to a U2 concert (a friend has extra tickets, so I just found out last night at like 11:30). That will also be fun, and I might just leave work early and get in a swim and perhaps quick run before we go.

Oh, and my adventure racing team is cursed 🙁 First we train, and I sprain/stress fracture my foot. Then we go to register, and that morning a teammate gets hit by a car. He'll live, but no racing for a while (it was a bad one with reconstructing of muscles and such). So our 4 person team became 3. And now another guy can't make it, as his mom is very sick (cancer) and probably going to die within a week. Of course, missing a race should be of no concern at all, and I'm hoping the best for him and his family. So we are a team of 2. And we have to be 3 or 4 to race. I asked TdB, but he is done, and Randy also wants to be done. I have a few other people I'm waiting to hear from, but I hope the curse ends!