Monday, December 21, 2009

Keeping it Real

This guy who works at SPI always says to me, "Keep it real Tawnee." This weekend was a great example of doing just that.... I got a little taste of everything that makes me smile: solid workouts, friends and parties, Ironman on TV (look out for my rant), good food and good grades.

It started Friday morning with a killer 5-mile trail run with my SPI boss, Mike, through Laguna Beach. Mike, of course, is super fast and knows those trails like the back of his hand, so it was challenging at times to keep him in sight; my HR would get pretty high when I was chasing him at a sub-7 pace, but it was a great run and it put me at 25-ish miles for the week. Slowly getting that mileage back up there. He gave me lots of trail-running tips mostly in the form of "ohhh nooo, that's not how you run; you need to change x-y-z; we have a lot of work for you to do." Haha. I love it though... the more I can correct the faster I can get.

After that I caught my dad just as he was going to the gym, so I joined him for an hour or so of strength training and rowing.

So, with all that... I earned my Friday night splurge, which happened to be in the form of Beer Olympics with fellow kinesiology grad students. At first I thought it was going to be events like the beer mile, but, no, it was just straight up drinking games--beer pong, flip cup, etc., done in a surprisingly well-organized legit competition at a dive bar. Prior to Friday, everyone had been divided into teams representing a country, and costumes were mandatory. I was on Team Vatican City. And just fyi: It was not our intention to mock religion or offend people... all in good fun and we just wanted God on our side ;) I dressed up like a nun, and was joined by the Pope, two priests and another nun. Despite my lack of college-esque drinking skillzzz we managed to win. See, God was on our side :)

Team VC with our medals...

There was even Beer Jenga... a Team Japan member in action...

The Greeks showed up too (as did Germans, Team Thailand, etc)...

Saturday I felt a little hazy, so I did some chores and errands, skipped working out and was settled on the couch at 1:30 to watch NBC's Ironman special. (I was hoping it would possibly inspire me to work out after, but it didn't.)

And, now, I'd like to share my rant NBC's coverage:

First, any time triathlon is on mainstream TV, that's a plus. But...besides that, I wasn't impressed with the coverage. Maybe I'm biased because I'm obsessed with the sport, I don't know. They did a decent job covering the pros, but beyond that it's the same ol' format: stories of people who overcame some hurdle to get to Kona / those who are finishing just before midnight. Don't get me wrong, that stuff is inspiring and always brings tears to my eyes (like Kyle Garlett missing the swim cutoff), but here's the problem:

NBC fails to highlight a huge chunk of Ironman Kona athletes: the fit, healthy, hard-working AGers who are pulling off some damn impressive times. Those who earned their spots by living, eating and breathing swimbikerun while juggling careers and/or families and/or a life (or lack thereof ). I knew far too many of those folks racing out there this year and I strongly believe that demographic deserves its 15 minutes of fame.

Also, I loved watching Rudy Garcia-Tolson's story, he's just incredible, but they should have mentioned that he went on to compete in and FINISH Ironman Arizona just a month later. Kind of a big deal.

So, yea, after watching that, it makes me want to do my own TV special... follow around a Kona qualifier or two for a year leading up to October and then show America what your everyday triathlete puts into this one race. See the sacrifice that it takes.

Ok, rant done.

Because I skipped my Saturday workout, I failed to meet my 12,000 yds in the pool for the week... oops! Grand total of 10,000 by Sunday. But I did close to 5,000 meters on the rowing machine over the week, does that count? Plus, with all the strength-training I did, I was surprised how fresh my arms still felt for 3k in the pool on Sunday... I swam a couple timed 500s, going well under 8 min for each, a big improvement for me--that wasn't even possible about 6-7 months ago.

Sunday I also went on an ez/mod bike through Santiago Canyon. Half of it was purely just to "earn" another night of spluring on holiday yumminess, half was to see if I remember how to ride a bike. Well, I burned the calories, but my riding legs never showed up. It was pathetic. Hopefully I can become a cyclist again by March! Break is over pretty soon.

Last week I had finals (lots of essays, lots of pain... it's a blur now). traditionally, when finals are done I begin checking the school website waaay too much in anticipation of grades being posted. Finally, on Sunday, one grade was up: I got an A- in Stats! Probably the biggest relief ever considering I wanted to puke after that final, it sucked and made me feel dumb. But I did well anough to keep an A-. Still waiting on the other grades... aka still checking CSUF's website like a crazy OCD person.

After I snuck in a nap, Sunday night was Christmas Round One with my Grandpa (the race car-driving one) and that side of the family. We talked a little about our Sunday rides. My grandpa and uncles ride Santiago Canyon, too, but on a slightly different sort of bike. They always stop at Cook's Corner, and unfortunately I have yet to run into them or even catch them whizzing by... but it's bound to happen. Sounds like I just missed them on Sunday!

Anyways, their house is like a race car museum... I always find something new to look at when I go there, the memoribilia is insane. So is the garage... ya know... just some crazy motorcycles all over...


  1. Here's my problem with everyone ranting about the Kona coverage: the coverage isn't geared towards triathletes. It's geared toward Average Joe. Not for a second would they get the viewership they do if it followed what we want to see. The best part is that people complains EVERY year about the coverage, but y'all keep watching it. Don't you? :P

    Now MY rant is over :)

  2. I'm going to reply to what you said and what D said about the coverage. I in fact have NEVER watched the NBC Kona coverage before! And the only way I can sum it up is that I was not motivated to train or even think about Kona afterwards... however, according to FB, many people were driven to tears while watching it. Did you and I miss something??? Maybe because I already know about Kyle Garlett and Rudy Garcia Tolson stories? I saw Rudy at IMAZ - VERY COOL! And a friend of mine went to HS with Kyle, so I have known about them for a while and so the Kona coverage/story was lost on me. Hmmmph. I like your idea though!!! Wow, that was a long comment :)

  3. I think you should do that special you proposed! I think they'd still get viewership to see that an everyday person can go out and do that...and maybe it would motivate a few to do it, let them know it's NOT impossible.

  4. Looks like you guys study hard and play hard. Glad you all had a great time. Enjoy your break from school.

  5. First off: The beer Olympics looks RAD!!

    Second: I agree a little with what D said, if they geared it towards triathletes, their string of emmies (sp?) would come to a screeching halt. However, I agree more with you and think they could do just as good of a job profiling the pros and the special interest people and adding in some AGer coverage. Make it 2hrs and do it all. Seems pretty easy.

  6. I agree they could add some AG coverage. But if they talked about all the training, then the rest of the world would just think we are even more strange. I did think this year's coverage rocked though, it mentioned two of my teammates, Flanagan for being first pro out of the water, and Lori McCarney (who's back spasmed and wasn't allowed to finish--something they didn't say, but Med pulled her from the course, it wasn't a time cutoff thing).

    We did a beer olympics here a while ago. A blast.

  7. I enjoyed the Kona coverage but did feel like it was missing "something".

    Simply reporting that a new course record was established by Wellington did not truly express how amazing that achievement was/is. And no mention of the splits to convey just how fast these people are going seemed to be missed by the network.

    I understand the need for human interest and anyone who made it to the starting line has my respect. Having said this, I could have done without the Biggest Loser guy (I'm assuming NBC had something to do with him getting into the event as a special interest). Had he qualified, I would be the first to bow down but this was obviously not the case. I guess my issue with him is that it was Kona.

    I guess now that I have completed two 70.3 distances and will be participating in IMCDA this coming June, I was looking for something more from NBC. I'm pretty sure that anyone who is not a triathlete thought it was awesome and, all things considered, they're right.

    Happy Holidays,