Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Official!

...because online quizzes never lie.

What female superhero are you???

Wonder Woman!

You're an original. A champion of justice and able to keep up with the best of male superheros, you attribute your power to amazonian origins. You`re a powerful, independent woman, and you`re not afraid to show it.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Tunes for Tuesday

Now that I am embracing my inner superheroine, I clearly need a soundtrack. This started off as a serious list, but what I ended up finding turned this into, well, something else. (Also, I really wanted to avoid overlap with my previous lists, so you'll probably note the absence of other Grrrl Power faves like No Doubt's Just a Girl, and any number of other Christina/Britney hits.)

Keeps Getting Better
Christina Aguilera

I think these lyrics pretty much require me to make this my new personal theme song:

Some days I'm a super girl out to save the world and it keeps getting better

One Girl Revolution

Okay, this is what it is, but the themes under the bubblegum aesthetic do what the Bangles and Bananarama (and the Go-Gos) could've done for me and my Gen X chicas. Meh.

Rock What You Got

It's On

Me Against the World

Ain't Nothin' but a She Thing
Nobody's Angel

Krystal Harris

Watch Me Shine
Joanna Pacitti

And now the Close, But No Cigar Awards (here's where things go awry):

When this was going to be super-superhero-y, Batdance seemed like a logical place to go, but check out the Batgirl Theme and lyrics. This is awful on so many levels, not the least of which is auditory. But I like the idea of asking a superhero if she is a "chick who fell in from outer space" and if she isn't, then the logical alternative is that she might be "real with a tender warm embrace."

People ask me this all the time (the outer space part); maybe it's a sign that my inner superhero is shining through.

Batgirrrl, Batgirl! Batgirrrl, Batgirl!
Where do you come from, where do you go?
What is your scene, baby, we just gotta know.
Batgirrrl, Batgirl! Batgirrrl, Batgirl!
Are you a chick who fell in from outer space?
Or are you real with a tender warm embrace?
Yaaa, whose baby are you? Batgirrrl, Batgirl!
Yaaa, whose baby are you? Batgirl!

Wonder Woman Theme
For obvious reasons, I wanted to include this in the "serious," kickass list despite the background vocals being shrill and annoying. But the lyrics "in your satin tights, fighting for your rights" relegated this to the silly bin.

Sometimes it Takes Balls to be a Woman
Elizabeth Cook

Sometimes it takes balls to be a woman Standing up to a test, while wearing a party dress Sometimes looks can be deceiving when you¹re quietly over-achieving Oh, sometimes it takes balls to be a woman He says I should repent for the money I spent on shoes and bags and jewelry Well To hell with that, my hard working ass ain't gonna sit before a jury Now isn't that a mighty small price to pay For all the love I send your way Honey when it comes down to the plumbin' Sometimes it takes balls to be a woman

A. I shoulda known this was a country song from the title alone.
B. This is from an album called simply, "Balls."
C. Rhyming "plumbin'" with "woman" -- now THAT'S artistry.

And that's when I had to give up the search.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wonder Woman Challenge 2008-2009

So my training partner Jen started on a 90-day Bikram Yoga Challenge at the end of August. Seeing as how I'm a sucker for stuff with catchy names, I decided that my next training endeavor needed to have a snappy title like hers. Wouldn't you know, she came up with this:

Hell yeah!

Things to Look for in a Training Partner #43: Ability to come up with snappy names and phrases.

Since I donned a Wonder Woman-esque outfit for the run leg in Louisville (which brought me great strength), this is a great way for me to live up to the outfit.

Of course, I am also a big fan of creating snazzy blog themes. I'm not really ready to give up my "Gutsy Broad" banner yet, nor am I that interested in mixing the minutia of my training sessions with my other musings. Thus, I've created a separate site for my training diary, complete with badass aesthetic.

Two Gutsy Broads

I have a training partner! Woot! Jen and I planned a ride today, both of us showed up, and the whole thing kicked a lot of assk. Since she has begun telling peeps, and since the 2-3 points of overlap in our social circles probably don't read my blog, I don't think she'll mind if I announce here that our joint goal is for IMAZ '09.

In addition to the well-known, universal benefits of training with a partner, here's a sneek peek at what will make ours sooper dooper:

- A mutual love of tots
- Boy-watching
- Tri crafts!
- Winter movie marathons on our trainers

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Work Sucks

Okay, it doesn't really. But it is cramping my see-Chris-Isaak-for-free-except-the-eight-hours-of-driving-plus-gas style.


And I do want wine.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oh Chris Isaak, Say It Ain't So

If you didn't already know, I love Chris Isaak. I mean really, I LUUUUV him. He usually sticks to the west coast for tours, so how happy was I when I learned that he will be in Chicago next week? At first, ecstatic.

Then I investigated.

He'll be giving a free concert (WOOT!) at the grand opening of a shopping mall. (WHAT?!) You read that correctly. My Chris Isaak is channeling the New Kids and Tiffany and hitting the shopping mall circuit. (Is this a step up or down from the casino he played here in Iowa last summer?) As if that weren't bad enough, the press release reads like something off The Simpsons. Read these money quotes with Kent Brockman's voice in mind:

Platinum record artist Chris Isaak is set to highlight the grand opening celebration at The Arboretum of South
Barrington later this month.

The free concert takes place at 7 p.m. Sept. 27 on the plaza stage at the new 600,000 square-foot outdoor
shopping center near routes 59 and 72.

Guests are encouraged to bring a lawn chair.

"We want to properly introduce the project as one of the most important new retail developments in the Chicago area in terms of scale, retail offerings and ambience," Jaffe said.
[emphasis mine]

-insert snarky Kent Brockman comment here re: Chris Isaak doing a bad, bad thing-

Three things:
1. If you didn't already know this about me, I'm kind of a liberal, anti-sprawl, anti-consumerism, if-you-don't-keep-your-wits-about-you-suburbia-will-kill-your-soul type.
2. I try to live deliberately: sticking to my principles, shopping locally, using public transportation or my bike.
3. You bet your ass I'm going!


4. I live a life of hypocrisy contradiction.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Girl, Why You Trippin'?

Here's footage of my Ironman finish -- and they even got the part where I almost fall on my face. AWESOME!

Also, I love how the music and editing make it seem like all of us were out there for some kind of leisurely fun ride -- or out chasing Duke Boys.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

IMKY '08 Part 1: Broad Strokes

I have to admit, there is a part of me that wants to document every single moment of this day. But the part of me with the stronger voice prefers to prefers to paint in broader strokes, focusing on the things I want to stay with me and in the foreground of my memory of this event. Of course, I have PLENTY to say about this, so I will wax philosophical on all those topics in separate posts in the coming days. But for now:

Ironman Louisville 2008 in Five Easy M.F. Hard-Ass Pieces

1. Play of the Day: Sharing the Start Line with TriBloggers!
I can't express how wonderful and peaceful it was to have Kim and Mary at the start line. I'm fairly certain that if they weren't there, I'd have thrown up or otherwise talked myself into some sort of pit of despair.

These two are such wonderful, spirited women with great outlooks on sport and life. I'm so grateful to have met them and to have seen them out on the run course -- my own spirits buoyed every time I saw them.

That, and Mary's title and caption for this pic pretty much nail it.

2. Swim Kicker
According to my friend, Mary Beth, I left 883 people behind me on the swim. I am a mid-pack swimmer! Woot! The swim itself was actually fairly uneventful: I got punched in the head once, lots of hands on my feet -- nothing out of the ordinary, though I was unprepared for all the butt-grabbing. I can't ever remember that happening in any other race. There was also something very unnerving about swimming in a shipping channel. Like Mary, I had mysterious red spots all over me when I got home. *shudder*

3. Hills and Wind and Heat -- Nemeses No More!!!
Making the bike cutoff under these conditions was a victory in itself. And then the wind picked up on the second loop. Oy. The toughest parts:

Miles 18-28. This section had some of the steepest sustained climbs of the course. An out & back jaunt, it also meant you could really get screaming down those hills. I don't know if it was my mountain biking fearlessness or the quality of my bike, but I flew past a LOT of people on the downhills (maxed out at 40+mph -- I heard pros got up to 50+). There was one crashed cyclist that I saw on the side of the road -- we were all still pretty bunched up at this point in the race, and a lot of people were not placing themselves in the lane safely. I can imagine that she got clipped in the crowd.

Bonked on the 1st Loop. My pack of electrolyte pills bounced out of my bento box sometime in these first 40 miles. Then I let my nutrition get away from me. Then I got really slow and my mood started to sink along with my avg speed (I needed to keep it above 13mph). I remembered reading somewhere that you should pay attention to your mood on the course because it's a sign that you need to take in more calories. This was the only time on the course that I felt bad and like I never wanted to do another Iron-distance race again. Then I ate a gel and guzzled some gatorade and things started looking up.

Acorn Hill. Holy mackerel. This crappy little hill pops up after a tough section in the loop (steeper hills, no shade or breeze). You have NO momentum going into it and even though it's short, it. is. steep. I pedaled up it on the first loop; decided to conserve my energy and walk it on the second loop. Jeebus, that little thing was a monster!

8:23:21 is a LONG time to sit on a bike seat.

4. Running the Numbers
Once I knew I would make the bike cutoff, I pretty much had no plan for the rest of the race. My original goal heading out on the run course was to finish under 17 hours. My legs actually felt good enough to run, but I was having some weird stomach stitches for the first hour, so running was out. I did run for a bit headed toward the "false finish" -- where they run you within yards of the finish line before sending you out for the second lap. And though I knew from Pigman that walking would potentially be more painful than running, I knew I could walk the whole thing and still make the course cutoff. Of course, I ran whenever I saw cameras and for the last point-two because, well, I have my pride. I'd like to think that if there was a hard midnight deadline like other IMs that I would have run enough to make that. I guess I'll know for sure next time. (That's right, I said next time.)

5. The Distance Between Your Ears
There was a point when I was about 5 1/2 miles from the finish and there was a man behind me -- coming the other direction on the out & back -- who was about 6 1/2 miles out from the line. I saw the sweep van pull up beside him. I was too far away to hear, but I knew what conversation they were having. I kept repeating in my head, "Don't get in that van! No, don't do it! You're so close!" I desperately wanted him to keep going, and I really wanted to punch that driver for putting the offer on the table for that guy.

Then the man stopped walking and reached for the door.

I only cried three times on the course. Twice I teared up because I was just so happy to be there and knew that I would finish. But the tears only streamed down my cheeks one time and it was for this man. There is something painfully heartbreaking to witness a person give up.

About an hour later, the van pulled up beside me.

"How are you feeling?" he asked.

"I feel fine," I said. Then, with perhaps too much force: "Keep driving."

He laughed and drove on.
. . .

Yes, this was a long, painful day. But even just a few days later, I don't really remember so much of the physical discomfort -- though I was definitely a lot more than uncomfortable. What I remember is how high my spirits stayed. I think this is what got me over that finish line. Except for bonking on the first loop of the bike, I smiled BIG for most of the day and almost all of the run.

At the pre-race talk, Lance Watson, a multi-sport coach, told us to treat ourselves well on race day. He'd just come from IM Canada where he saw one dejected face after another. "Don't give up on yourselves," he told us. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I spent the two weeks before crying and beating myself up for not training harder. I had been incrementally giving up on myself every day leading up to the race.

So I smiled instead.

And I never gave up on myself.

And I finished.

And then I tripped three steps after crossing the finish line.