Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Talk with Chrissie

One of the things I love most about journalism is the randomness. For the most part, you're always researching and writing about something fresh, and you're talking to an array of fascinating (or sometimes not so fascinating) people. It's never "the same ol' routine" -- and that's just how I like to do life.

Last week I was trying to get in touch with Chrissie Wellington for an article I'm working on for 3/GO. I figured I'd not hear back at all or I'd have to talk through her manager via an email interview (neither are my ideal choices for any article). With someone of her caliber and being that Kona is right around the corner, you can't expect much, I get it.

Funny how things work out...

Last Thursday I had to teach a noon fitness class at my gym. I was having a blah morning, but the group of folks who showed up to class got me out of my funk. It's always fun times teaching our classes. After class I was planning a run of ??? miles... I was just going to go with the flow based on how I felt. Well I got going and immediately felt like poop on a stick. I turned around at about .65 miles in! Weak sauce! But some days you just don't have anything, and I wasn't going to fight that. No reason to right now in the year.

I got back into the gym and went to grab my purse (I mean, Trader Joe's bag). I was feeling a little self-defeated after the crap run, even if I didn't need the miles or anything. I just don't like "failing" at a workout, and running only 1.35ish miles at a sloooooow pace is a fail for me.

Just then my phone started ringing, and it was a number I didn't recognize. Often times, I won't answer random numbers, but for some reason, this time I just said, "whatever" and answered. "Hello?"

A woman with a British accent answers, saying, "Hi there, this is Chrissie Wellington."


Totally unexpected, and I was totally unprepared. Being that I was at the gym, I had ZERO resources to conduct a decent interview. I asked Chrissie if I could call her back very soon so I could rush home, but she said it had to be now because she had to go out and train again (in my mind, that meant either figure out how to interview her now or possibly never get a hold of her again before my deadline this week). So I started scrambling to find a piece of paper and writing device while making crazy small talk. Markers and the white board crossed my mind for a sec, but then I found an old piece of red construction paper with workouts typed on it, found a pen and started winging the interview in a small, dark side office in the gym (no time to find the light switch).

Thankfully I had been pre-planning some questions in my head so I had some rhyme and reason as to what to ask. But as with most interviews, no matter where I do them, I like to let the conversation dictate the Qs I ask, which ended up being the case with CW. She was enjoyable to talk with and is clearly good at being the interviewee. My notes are a little more sucky compared to how I normally record interviews, and apparently I also "destroyed" a very valuable workout chart (the red construction paper) that the guys use. Ooops! But I had a good laugh about it with Mike after the matter because he had seen me over his shoulder scrambling to get to business.

That's journalism for ya! Never the same ol' routine -- a theme that I feel is a good way to approach life, both in a career and in training. Keep it interesting, always find new stimulation and never settle for the same ol' cookie-cutter agenda. It's amazing how that way of life allows you to be your best and give the best of what you have to those around you.


Pictured below are my shorthand notes from the interview (after that I rushed home to fill in the holes while her words were still fresh in my head, now that's journalism skillzzz lol)....

Btw, after talking with CW about her pain threshold, I have no doubt that her battle wounds from her recent crash won't even phase her at Kona. One. Tough. Chick. (Duh, right?)

Oh and stay tuned for the article in 3/GO in a couple months :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

IM Canada in Pics

I'm makin' a comeback!

It's funny, you'd think after an Ironman you'd have so much extra time with all those hours you'd otherwise be spending SBR'ing. Not the case over here! When one chapter ends, another begins. I've taken the lack of IM training as an opportunity to do new things (like read a book for pleasure in under two weeks, big deal for me), hit the gym for more intense strength training, work a lot more, have fun/let loose when I feel like it. It's also a good time to take a break from things like early-morning weekend mega workouts and even blogging. Granted, being taking it slow on a weekend morning is not always easy for me to being that I'm an adrenaline junkie/crazy triathlete that likes to GO GO GO ;) But I think it's important to keep your mind and body fresh throughout the year and not do the same thing day in and day out... you'll undoubtedly have more enthusiasm when you make your comeback to the thing(s) you love the most (i.e. triathlon).

So now that I'm back to blogging, I must end the chapter on my Ironman Canada experience once and for all with a few pics before starting some blogs on new adventures and new topics!

Starting off the pics with a couple great ones my sis caught of IMC champs Jordan Rapp and Mary Beth Ellis...
Now that I have you sucked in with those pics (hopefully lol), a little timeline of my race experience in pics starting with pre-race dinner at our house on the patio. Very relaxing and delicious!
Race day. Swim start, then off on the bike feeling happy and good shown by the big wave/ thumbs up (?) that I'm giving :)
Fast forward a looooong time and after many highs and lows and here we are at Yellow Lake (last big climb). The scene was just what any athlete would want at this point -- a lively crowd treating you like TdF riders. It almost made me forget about the nausea and bonking for a brief time -- enough to eek out some smiling :)

Then the start of the run. These three pics are when I saw my family right out of T2 when I was really contemplating my ability to do the marathon. You can see my face is sort of distressed. But after the tears we shared, I decided I had to get 'er done, and off I was!

Don't really know when this run pic was taken, but that's John running next to me and all I can say is that having him there for those brief moments meant the world to me.

And after all that, an IM that was a year in the making and one of THE BEST experiences of my life to date, comes to an end. I was so emotional, in so much pain and just feeling out of this world. With all that was going through my head (combined with feeling delirious haha), it's no surprise that a huge smile came across my face. Btw, my sister was sooo pissed that dude's arm got in the way of capturing this moment. Oh well, there will be more chances to get this shot in the future :) Feeling the biggest sense of satisfaction ever
And of course one more food shot.... day-after breakfast #2 :)
PS - A special thanks to my sister for taking some great pics! An my mom, dad and John for being all over the course to cheer me on (i.e. my mom and sis pictured when they were all camping out at Yellow Lake for a looong time). And thanks to everyone else who helped me in some way....

I've made some decisions about my 2012 season, so stay tuned for the details!