Monday, April 30, 2007

I'm Baaaaaaaaack

I just flew in from Iowa, and boy are my arms tired. (Ba-dum-bum.)

But seriously, folks...

A Desert Rat Lands in the Midwest
Over the weekend, I got to visit Iowa, meet some grad students, faculty, house hunt, etc. Being in the desert so long, I almost forgot how much I like lush greenery. What struck me most was how much it seemed like a blend of Seattle, Bellingham, and Washington, DC --my favorite places.

The last time I was there was for a brief drive-through with one of my favorite people about 8 years ago. This time, it was raining when I got there, which made the green of the lawns even more vivid. Plus, the tulips (another favorite) were blooming and the neighborhoods were just gorgeous. The next day was clear skies, and the contrast with the grass was even better.

The Best Part
Despite the rain (which was akin to a Seattle Drizzle -- so not much of anything), there were people running everywhere! And at all times! I was most surprised by how many people I saw running around 9:30pm. Awesome.

Of course, all this moisture + my naturally curly hair = four years of bad hair for Krissy. Oh well.

I'm in LOVE!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Eureka At Last!

Last night's post on Project Procrastination was a much-needed wakeup call. There are so many amazing athletes out there who are actually overcoming formidable obstacles while I'm here whining about how lazy and unmotivated I am. Despite reading Duane's blog for a while now, and having a general idea of what he has set out to do, only today did I find his feature on I can't believe I had overlooked this for so long!

For inspiring stories of people who have dug deep inside themselves to pursue triathlon (or any dream, for that matter), one need only peruse the blogroll at Like me, many of these people took a little inventory and were unsatisfied with the state of affairs. Unlike me, they took on the task of transformation and are really working to see it through. If I am going to know even a morsel of success, I'm going to have to figure out what the difference is between myself and them. What is it that gets them out the door, into the pool, onto the bike, or out of the snack aisle? More appropriately, what is it that keeps me on the couch, out of the pool, off my bike, and covered in snack shrapnel?

After some thought, I think I've figured it out. My pursuit of triathlon has been awash in the Seven Deadly Sins of Triathlon (okay, six):

Pride: Yes, I want to "Brag for the rest of my life" about Ironman. I like it that the mailman delivers my Triathlete magazine each month and sees the bike rack on my car and is probably really impressed because he's never actually seen me. I like it that I have this tri blog and I can pretend I'm some sort of athlete. And frankly, I am pursuing the ridiculous and superficial goal of reclaiming the cute girl that I was at 19. Talk about denial: I was even a little relieved that I DNF'd at IMAZ because I didn't want my finish line photo to immortalize my current weight. (Notice there are no current or recent pictures on any of my blogs showing me from the waist down.)

Gluttony: It seems that everytime I start to get into a groove with my training, I fall victim to the SnackDown. Oct 15, 2006 was supposed to be Day One of my IMAZ training. What did I do? I put on 15 pounds of snack weight. Most recently, I turned over this new leaf...and then ordered The Big Feed. I'll get you yet, Gluttony Monkey!

Envy: I swear to God, if GeekGirl gets one more cool tri toy...

Lust: See Envy.

Greed: Well, this move to Iowa is about to cut my income in half...Really, between the gear, travel, and registration fees, this is not an activity that will facilitate an amassing of wealth, so I guess I've dodged this bullet.

Wrath: Yesterday, I stooped so low as to drag all the positive, supportive bloggers to engage in this cardinal sin. (I'm sorry. Can you forgive me? For what it's worth, it helped.)

Sloth: We all seem to have our own brand of struggle with this one. Some battle their sloth by ridiculing it. I will admit that I have missed workouts because I spent the day reading tri blogs about swimming, biking, and running, (or comedy about various foibles while doing these things) instead of getting off my butt to ACTUALLY swim, bike, and run--further evidence that the Sloth Monkey's been whispering sweet Do-Nothings in my ear for too long. Nike-style is the only way to combat this: Just Do It. As simple and difficult as that.

So for all my jabber-jawing, I never stopped to figure out what my One Thing is -- why I'm REALLY doing this. I've thought about this for a while, too, and this is what I've come up with:

As an only child, I constantly vacillate between my fear of being alone in the world and cherishing my independence and self-reliance. Triathlon is where these two meet. A DNF is a solitary experience, and so is a finish line, podium, pass late in the run, etc. -- they stay with you long after everyone else has moved on, and only you know how it happened. On bad days, you confront yourself; there's no one to blame, to lean on, or to carry you (or to turn off the eff-ing wind). On good days, you get to feel the wind in your hair or water rushing over you -- self-propelled swiftness, speed and freedom. Self-reliance at its best. This is where today's post by Stronger gave me the nudge I needed. She reminded me that I really do enjoy all three sports and all that I'm missing when I avoid them.

So I think I've found it: Triathlon lets me experience the joys of independence and self-reliance. It also helps me confront my despair at the thought of feeling alone in the world. It lets me know that if I ever were alone in the world -- I can handle it. I can keep pedaling, keep breathing, keep going. I can also find friends on the road who are like-minded and supportive -- strangers who will give me a "Stay strong, Krissy" when I need it most.

I know that this is it. My One Thing. (It must be, because I've been crying for the last 15 minutes.)

All this time, I had been using triathlon to run away from my life...when the best it has to offer is me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Let the Tongue Lashing Begin!

Well...I didn't do those workouts yesterday. So it's time for the TOUGH LOVE!

Listen, I know that everybody likes to be all positive and supportive on these blogs, but that clearly won't work for me. So here it is Bloggers...your big moment: I NEED AN INTERVENTION!

You've been dying to slap and shake every false-starter out there (maybe even yourself at times). Time to cut the crap. Today, I almost wrote, "All is not lost...Friday was supposed to be an off-day, I'll just shift the schedule." NO! NO MORE RATIONALIZATIONS! NO MORE EXCUSES!

I know this might be a little out of your comfort zone, but it's time to deliver the necessary flogging. If it makes you feel better, write it to yourself.

Here, I'll get you started:

You've been flapping your gums so long about this training, I almost confused them for the backs of your arms! Now get your ass to the pool! (Ooh...burn.)

Alright...give me your worst!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Playing with Fire-Roasted Animals

Growing up, I always felt compelled to keep up with or show up the boys. That's fine if you're playing sports, but when it comes to eating and drinking...recipe for disaster.

Here is a picture of Scott and me in Times Square, circa 1999 (look how thin we both were!). When he and I get together -- I don't know why -- I just have to go toe-to-toe with him (the storm clouds gather). You see from the picture what a ridiculous impulse this is, right? Thankfully, they did the heavy drinking the night before I arrived (though I have held my own in the past -- and why did I feel the need to add that?) But on Friday night, he and the best man each ordered "The Big Feed," which consists of three different BBQ'd meats. I know that a healthy portion is probably half of any single portion of meat on that plate, but what did I do? Krissy: "You guys are getting The Big Feed? Yeah, I can handle that." And the triathlete inside me died a little...from a coronary.

The real question in all of this is why, oh why, does my competitive nature show up for unhealthy events like BBQ and workplace strife while remaining safely tucked away at times I could really use it -- like when I'm embedded in Zone 1 for training and (therefore) racing? I like to fancy myself the Tuff Girl, and on the Tuff Scale, overeating doesn't hold a candle to triathlon. (Apparently, I'm a champion metaphor-mixer too.)

So I'm not off to a very good start. In my defense, the wedding came at a bad time for such things. is Monday. My usual "day one." I have a swim and a short run scheduled this afternoon. If I don't do it, I expect a full and complete e-flogging from all of you.

By the way:
I'm off animals-with-feet for a while (fish is still okay). I feel like the kid who was made to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes after getting caught by the principal. You want proof? Yesterday I ate Cheerios, rice, and spaghetti squash. Happily. Today? A blissful can of peaches for breakfast, and much-needed spinach for lunch.

"A magical animal..."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ma-wage is What Bwings Us Togevah

Yesterday, my two best friends from childhood married each other. Weddings are always great for some madcap mayhem -- especially when both families are big drinkers (damn my 5:30 flight!).

As an only child, these two are the closest thing I have to siblings (I've been close to Scott since we were 10; Ana since we were 13), and I have a myriad of reflections on the significance of this event in my life. But what is MUCH more interesting to read is all the wacky stuff that weddings bring about.

Here are my favorite highlights from this one:

  1. After the rehearsal luncheon, the groom's 5 year-old niece announced to the room, "That food was so good, I have to go to the bathroom!"

  2. At the reception I congratulated Scott's dad, and he put his arm around me to hug me -- and spilled whiskey down my arm. Instead of apologizing he said, "That's 14 year-old Scotch. If I were you, I'd lick that off."

  3. Someone thought it appropriate to dedicate "Down Wit O.P.P." to the bride -- who danced to it in a big group that included her father, whose dance moves are just shy of smackin' dat ass.

And I left early!


31 Flavors of Krissy

It appears that everyone has some form of this up...I won't buck the trend. (Don't worry, I'll have something else up soon.)
  1. I can write backwards and often did in high school to punish my teachers.
  2. I have moved 23 times since I turned 18.
  3. I. AM. A. DOG. PERSON.
  4. I'm afraid of snakes and the dark, but I LOVE camping (sweet, sweet misery).
  5. Brushoffs with greatness: I have been dissed by Hillary Clinton AND Desiree Ficker (but I'm not sure Desiree did it on purpose).
  6. I'm a Northern Cal girl at heart, but I drive like I'm from L.A. Can't we all just go a little faster?
  7. I am a dual citizen of the U.S. and the Philippines.
  8. I can't believe they invented it: Smoked Gouda.
  9. Everything I need to know about Star Wars I learned from other pop culture references. I have never seen any of these movies, nor do I intend to. Ever. Pick your jaw up off the floor and let's move on.
  10. My favorite shows you've never seen: SportsNight (ABC), Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg (TV Land), Home Movies (Cartoon Network).
  11. My first full-time job was in the White House.
  12. Favorite swear word: CRAP. (I know, it's not really a swear word. But it's so hapless and sounds the most like the circumstances that bring about its utterance. It can be a quirky little alternative to ye olde f-bomb -- and just as versatile e.g.,"Mother crap!" and "What the crap?!")
  13. When I was in first grade, I never made it through an entire week without getting my name in the "doghouse."
  14. The dumbest thing I ever said: "Heh heh. I stalked you today on the pier" to Chris Isaak. (Um...I was joking, but I see how it's not exactly an ice-breaker with celebrities.)
  15. The dumbest thing I ever heard: "Ma'am you can't bring your shampoo on the plane. You'll have to leave that here, but the razor is fine."
  16. In lieu of crack, I have an unhealthy relationship with: Pez, cheese, TiVo.
  17. If money were no object, I would travel the world and always have fresh flowers in my home.
  18. If I am anything, I'm a taoist. Otherwise, I'm your garden-variety heathen.
  19. Some of my best friends are gay.
  20. Celebrities I'd marry: Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert.
  21. Even in the chilliest conditions, I MUST sleep with my head out of the covers.
  22. If I were a cartoon character, I'd be Lisa Simpson.
  23. Like Elaine Benes, I am a man's woman: I don't like (most) other women, and they don't like me.
  24. My hair is naturally curly -- a blessing in the desert, a curse anywhere with humidity above 3%.
  25. Favorite alcoholic drink: any wine except chardonnay. I'm also partial to margaritas, cape cods, and michiladas (Mexican beer with lotsa lime)...
  26. Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Clamato Picante with lime.
  27. Best birthday gift: my littlest dog, Dinah.
  28. Worst birthday gift: a diamond (seriously, that guy didn't understand me AT ALL).
  29. I do NOT think Varsity Blues is a triumphe de cinema, and I am not above getting into a screaming fight with anyone who thinks so.
  30. How do I picture myself in 30 years? I'll be the crazy old professor driving around town with a fleet of wiener dogs in the back of my old Cooper wagon. Typical conversations about me will go like this: "Hey, I saw Dr. Gordon today." "Oh, yeah? Did she have her dogs with her?"
  31. How do I picture myself in 31 years? Sipping iced tea on my porch while some shirtless student-athletes landscape my yard. Oh wait, that's what I'd like in the next 31 days.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Usually when people decide to start anew, it's because they have hit rock bottom and had to take stock of their lives. So it is with me. (Well...I wouldn't say that DNF-ing was really rock-bottom, but it was definitely the final insult to how little my life has been resembling what I want for myself.)

So it seems appropriate that my "first step" on this road will be to take some inventory.

The good news is, I am not starting from "real" scratch. I do get to enter this new phase with some of the benefits of my past "training" -- even if it was inconsistent. I get to start from "scratch-plus," if you will.


  1. I can run comfortably for over an hour.

  2. I can swim comfortably for over 90 minutes.

  3. I own a bicycle, an indoor trainer, and a GREAT DVD collection.

  4. I've got my Dad's slow-twitch muscles.

  5. I've got my Mom's fast-twitch muscles.

  6. For the next 10 weeks, I can train in New Mexico at 3,800 feet.

  1. On the bike, I am completely worthless on hills and in wind.

  2. I haven't used my mother's fast-twitch muscles since I was 14; I think she swapped 'em out for her thyroid while I was napping.

  3. It is COLD and SNOWY in Iowa in the winter.

  4. It will be winter in Iowa when I reach the heart of my IM training for Arizona.

  5. I grew up in California and have been in NEW MEXICO for the past 7 years.

Did I mention that I like to do things comfortably?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A New Chapter. A New Leaf. A New Life.

I had planned to start my new blog once I got settled in Iowa. But after my Ironman Arizona debacle, now seems as good a time as any. Traditionally, "tomorrow" has been my favorite starting day, followed by "next Monday," and "the 1st" -- none of which really got me started on the right foot. So this time, I'm starting NOW.

And what is it, exactly, that I am starting?

Today I am starting down the road--a one-year and 140.6-mile road--to the finish line. New food. A new home in Iowa. A new place for triathlon in the center of my life.

I am also starting down a new avenue in my career -- in the fall I will begin working on a PhD in media/cultural studies, my other passion. In the meantime, I do have a few loose ends to tie up during my remaining weeks in New Mexico:
  1. I will leave New Mexico debt-free. I am so close on this one. May 15 is the Big Check Day, when all balances reach zero.
  2. Say goodbye to Colin, my partner of the last five years (he is pursuing his life of a jazzman in Boulder). This will be incredibly sad, but necessary for us both.
  3. Lose 14 pounds so I can enter the state of Iowa as a woman of healthy weight. (Though my goal is to lose 34 pounds to reach my optimum weight -- or the one it says on my driver's license.)

So...I'm glad I'm here. I'm looking forward to making a place for myself in this cyber tri community. Hi.