Friday, July 28, 2006

not exactly home & garden...

Here’s how the photo shoot breaks down.

At 10 a.m. photog promptly arrives. I help him lug heavy suitcases of lights, pots and pans, cameras and a big tub of spaghetti upstairs. Temperatures are already in the 80s and it’s humid. This isn’t what I signed up for, I think. I am the star. Well, at least my apartment is.

10:30 a.m. The reporter arrives. More lugging up heavy pots & pans and old garbage like used frozen food containers.

11 a.m. Time to set up the messy sink to re-create what a kitchen could look like in your first apartment. Pots and pans, plates, cups, coffee maker, phone, my labtop, old spaghetti and beer cans are artfully arranged. They decline my offer to include my Jose Cuervo bottle. They do take me up on my offer to use a container of shrimp and steak with rices and veggies. It’s OK, I assure them, the food’s a week old.

11:30 a.m. Reporter is called on to help hold light reflector for photog. Thank heavens she’s here. It looks rather uncomfortable as she’s holding it at an awkward angle. I sip my coffee and read the newspaper. Yes, I’m a famous photographer’s subject, I think haughtily. At least, my apartment is.

11:45 a.m. I’m getting bored. How long does it take to photograph a sink full of dishes anyway? I pick at my nails. Reporter is still holding light reflector at awkward angle.

11:55 a.m. Briefly, I contemplate asking if they need help but I’m getting sleepy. I curl up on the couch instead. I nod off.

12:15 p.m. Photog needs a stepping stool. I dont have one. I give him an old plastic chair instead. It nearly buckles under him because one leg is near broken. It’s OK, he says, he’ll try something else.

12:30 p.m. I’m tired. Now I must know how it feels to be a top model. Nothing but waiting.

12:45 p.m. They're done. Time to clean up. I grudgingly pull myself up to help. Coincidentally, photog’s phone rings. He begins long conversation. Reporter and I begin the clean up.

1 p.m. Photog still on phone. Reporter appears scared of old spaghetti and as she semi scrubs appears to be spreading tomato sauce rather than wiping it up. I assure her I can do it later.

1:15 p.m. The kitchen is nearly spotless no thanks to photog who is still on the phone. We lug down reporter’s stuff.

1:18 p.m. "Ooops," says reporter, "my meter’s almost out." With a wave she’s off.

1:20 p.m. We lug down the photog’s heavy equipment. It’s now in the 90s. I sweat profusely. How come photog didn’t bring handlers?

1:30 p.m. Photog shakes my hand and is off. I get ready to leave to work. This photog business is hard.

Look for Runner in Transition’s kitchen o’ dirty dishes, in the Aug. 18 edition of The Morning Call. If I can’t post the photo, I’ll post the link!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The busy life of a photographer's subject

I spent much of the last two days cleaning and getting my apartment all spiffy for the photo shoot Friday about your first apartment and the accompanying slops. It’s gorgeous now and really would be more appropriate for a shoot on being single, young, trendy and living in the city.
On a very tight budget.
In tight quarters.

I’m surprising the photog by thinking of fun and clever props to include in the spread. Like putting my nearly empty bottle of Jose Cuervo next to the sink that will be full of dirty dishes. And the ashtry I got in Mexico that says “Zacatecas” as a shout-out to my Grandma’s home state. I bet he will be impressed and admire my creative thought process.

The cool thing about the shoot is I get to miss the entire morning of work, editor approved.

So I took off my shirt during yesterday’s run for the first ever and was just in my sports bra. What a freeing feeling! So that’s how men, free to go shirtless at their any whim, must feel. Feeling the warm sunshine on my bare skin was such a treat. I highly recommend it. I may never wear a shirt again.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Single and Fabulous! or....Single and Fabulous?

I have just received the most exciting news my apartment is going to be the site of a photo shoot Friday morning. I feel like Charlotte in “Sex and the City” when “Home & Garden” magazine comes into film her expensive New York apartment. She’s got beautiful white roses on the table, her wedding china is spread out, and she looks stunning, as usual, in a lovely feminine dress. This spread’s kind of going to be like that.

Only it's Allentown, not New York. Also I rarely dress up for work Friday as I'm beat from the week and maybe out of clothes. And the main feature will be my kitchen sink. And it’s going to be filled with dirty dishes, pots & pans, glasses and mugs. The theme? Your first apartment. Apparently the article will focus on living away from parents for the first time.

I most certainly hope the article does not attempt to cliche all first time awayers as slobs! Why, if you were to look in my sink right now there would be a cognac glass and four wine glasses and that’s it. Wait, maybe a frying pan too, from the quesadilla I had on Saturday. Still.

Strangely, despite using my place for this seemingly non flattering portrayal of singe life I’m quite excited. A photo shoot in my house!

Better go get the roses.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My race day love affair

note: this post has been edited b/c swim distance was updated on linmark site (which i've been scanning obsessively several times a day). i actually swam the fastest leg of my mini career. oopa!

I had a new experience on Sunday. It's called "Just having fun and enjoying the experience." Lemme explain.

I'm ultra competitive. I have high expectations of myself professionally, personally, socially. Training is no different. Last year a bad race sent me into a half-day long headspin of depression. By afternoon when the two stiff bloody Marys had worn off I swore I'd never let a bad race get to me like that again.

My last two races were canceled under bad circumstances that had left a bad taste in my throat. It sucks canceling races. It sucks canceling races cause the guy you were going to do them with and you dont end up working out and you guys turn unnecessarily dark in the final days.

This race I knew was going to be different. I felt "back," as it were.

So here's the deal. This was my third sprint tri. The lack of training showed. I had the worst times of my career:

800-yd swim: 15 min (33:20/mile pace) 104/355
T1: 2:29
***12-mile bike: 58.03 (12.4/hr pace) 319/355
T2: .40
5K: 27.03 (8:44 pace) 105/355
Total: 1:43:13.

But I loved every second of waking up early, drinking my pre-race coffee, eating my bagel and banana, driving and listening to my normal hip hop top 40 stations, waiting for Kim, seeing Kim, getting the transition area set up, chatting with girls in my swim heat about the course, feeling the warm but not too warm water of beautiful Lake Nockamixon.

I loved the feeling of running into the transition area, I loved looking to the left and right of the bike course and seeing the beautiful lake and green lush trees all over the scenic course and I loved that the running trail was equally as gorgeous.

I loved the men. Seriously, I've never seen such hot, fit men in any race I've ever done.

I loved that Bill, Kim's husband who can't stand me cause he thinks i'm a bad influence (not like kimmie needs any help. haha), was waving and shouting and pointing to the direction I needed to take my bike after the swim because race days does that to people.

I look at my times and I'll be honest -- the rush I had immediately after I finished dissipated a bit when I saw them.

But it's Monday, the day after the race, and I'm weirdly thrilled with myself for doing this race. It's almost like I feel I'm coming out of a fog and this dark cloud that's been a part of my life for months, even if most of the time it's subtle, is lifting. I felt so alive on Sunday. I felt so alive and vibrant.

So this is why we do it.

ps. my love affair of sunday does not extend to the mofo bike. if i had seen one more person pass me...

Friday, July 14, 2006


So I'm in a new division this year. It's the 30-34 age group. The good thing about this is, no more dumb pink caps or like this Sunday, purple. Nah, we oldies generally get cooler colors. This race I'm Navy.

I'm a bit nervous going into an older age group because everyone knows women get more ferocious with age. They take their training harder and come in ripped. No more half-assed training of the 20s groups. Last year when I placed FIRST in my age division for the 5k in the 25-29 (ahem), i would have actually placed third or fourth in the 30-34. Lucky I was born a year late.

Kimmie is upset by the change of plans Sunday so I am taking this opportunity to PUBLICLY PLEAD for her FORGIVENESS. You know my life here in little PA would be in SHAMBLES if you weren't in it. Well, that's not entirely true. It's in shambles but I wouldn't have as much fun watching my life swirl into shambles if you weren't in it. You're my partner in crime, my martini friend, my growing-old-with-spunk friend, my corona-drinking friend, my urban sunbathing friend, my running friend.

Please forgive and try to accept your friend's many flaws, which includes jumping at the offer to go to AC because she's an obsessive gambler, drinker and price-is-right contestant. Try to forgive her because she adores you and tries to be a good person.

I am BEGGING you to still go the race on Sunday. Otherwise I will be all alone and I will try to make small talk with the other people who maybe went alone or dont' mind being my friend for the morning. But you know that wouldn't be the same.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

She swims, she bikes, she runs, she GAMBLES, she SUNBATHES!

I have been worried about doing a tri the morning after my friend's wedding. It troubles me that I have to leave the festitivies by 11 p.m. at the latest to get at least five hours of sleep, my goal.

But sissie reminded me I did a marathon while staying in Vegas. It wasn't an ordinary Vegas night either (they never are). It was a fight night and if you want to see fine dressed brothers this is your spot. Nonetheless, I was in my hotel room just minutes after 11 p.m. Of course I couldn't sleep for a good couple of hours since i was worried about my mother and grandmother who decided to party the night away but through that I learned to set curfews and get my own room the night before a race.

So really, a baby tri should be no problem coming off a weddding. Sissie's comment has boosted my confidence.

So has an unexpected treat -- straight from the race i am going to ATLANTIC CITY!!!!! It's not Vegas but this time of the year, maybe it's better because it's on the BEACH. I'm packing a thermos of bloody marys for after the race then a pal and I are headed off to gamble and sunbathe. I CAN'T WAIT.

You want to motivate this girl to get through swimming, biking and running? Offer her a PRACTICALLY FREE trip to ATLANTIC CITY!


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

by (un)popular demand

I continue to be humbled by my steady stream of visitors. Why, each week I get at least one e-mail asking when i'll post again. So here I go.

Sissie is now a Chicago-ite. She's left behind the small suburbs of San Diego for the glitz and glamour of Chitown. I'm right behind her. After all, my buddy called me excitedly Friday night to tell me he'd gotten two new team members for "Chicago Tri 2007." Cool, i exclaimed, then returned to my beer. Who calls to tell about new training partners at like 10 p.m. on a summer Friday night?

I threw my first bachelor party Saturday night and if I may, what a smashing success. We went to a strip club where the girls were v. cute. Then we went back to my pal's house where the guys nearly had me convincned to give a private show. Nearly. Fun was had by all.

Sunday is steelhead. After such a promising start, my training really struggled in the past two weeks. That's my life lately. A few promising days, then I slip back into bad habits.

My friend's wedding is the evening before and it will be all the fun people from the bachelor party. They were already talking about going out after the wedding, which ends at 10 or 11. But not me. No, not me. i'm going straight home to sleep.

Cause Kim will be waiting for me bright and early Sunday. Coach Kim has promised to cheer me on. Then, she has promised me a Bloody Mary.

It's the little things, really, that keep a girl going...