Conversations with my stomach (part 1)

About 4 weeks ago, my abdomen started talking with me. It went something like this:

Tummy: hey.
Tummy: heyheyheyhey.
Tummy: HEY!!!

Which I ignored. Then, it proceeded to do the "heyheyheyhey" minorly for 2 weeks. On September 17th morning, my abdomen revolted. Officially.


& then it had a temper tantrum & threw things. For over an hour. That was fun.

4 visits with medical professionals, 3 days, & 2 blood draws later, I feel like this is the story of Keri & "The Very Angry Tummy." Now, my abdomen behaves like this:

Tummy: .......
Tummy: .......
Tummy: are you gonna feed me? i'm so hungry... please...
Tummy: please?
Tummy: YAY!
Tummy: That was really good... oh, wait... I forgot...

My race season is officially over. All training has halted. I'm on a liquid diet. It's souper. The good news is that we're finally doing the celiac test.

(I had wanted to wait until race season was over - My previous doctor wouldn't test me unless I was eating gluten every day, which I hadn't wanted to endure during my race season. Now, I have a new doctor.)

My decision on IMFL is on hold for now as well as my marathon/half-marathon goals for winter. & I'm okay with that.


Okay, I see it now.

I ran into ... well... if you want to be accurate - I lunged at my friend Annette when I saw her on Metro this evening. Annette-sightings are rare as she lives in Columbia, Maryland. So, I seized the opportunity by "running into her".

As we were chatting, she mentioned that my core group of friends have been gossiping about how skinny I have become. It's been "Have you seen Keri? She's so skinny!"

Hrmmm... As I've told my coworkers, friends, & fellow triathletes, I really don't see it. I've only noticed that my clothes don't fit, & my savings fund is missing some cash.

Until Julia sent me this picture from her birthday shindig:

Dude, how come no one told me that I became so skinny?!

Please note: Do not for any reason give me access to your credit cards. I might use it to purchase all of Banana Republic & Filene's Basement. No, I will not hold your wallet while you do something crazy or kegstand. I will run away with it & purchase pants that fit.

Be warned.


Bits & pieces.

There were free hugs for the taking in front of the Scientology building. Call me greedy - I took two.

I love happy protests! :)


Also, I played a great joke on my boss yesterday where I pretended to resign. He actually clutched his chest & gaped at me. It was priceless. I wish I had a camera for that one.

He kept eying the paper in my hand as I was discussing my meeting with the Vice President of Operations. I saw the opportunity & went for it. It was well executed if I do say so myself.


I bought an official fuckton of new clothes this week as I was tired of looking like I was in hand-me-downs from a larger person. Coincidentally, I celebrated "Forget to Take the Tags off Your New Sweater Day!" Did you?


Also - Here's an email I sent out to my tri team:

For those of you not traveling for Savageman, you're in for a treat. The inaugural Capital Criterium is taking place on September 21st in downtown DC. Christian Vande Velde will be racing.

Further information at:


As God is My Witness, I'll Never Want to Do Lunges Again.

My triathlon motivation waned to almost nil last week. This year was supposed to contain my 70.3 races on my way to the 2009 Florida Ironman. My first attempt turned into a 2/3 relay. My second was canceled. Go figure that I am disappointed.

I know that I normally enjoy training & racing. Very much so - actually. In 4 days, I'm racing The Nation's Triathlon, but I'm not super jazzed about it. In fact, I'd rather not race. Right now, I'd rather hang with friends, be social, hit a concert or two, go dancing/camping/hiking/etc.

Officially, I'm burnt out. I don't want to run for 30-minutes.

(It also doesn't help that I tried on a pencil skirt at Banana Republic (the Official store of Yuppies (*gag*) - but hey! Nice clothes!) & wasn't too impressed with my smooshed bottom & that caused me to do a million & a half squats & lunges on Monday & now I can't walk or climb stairs without saying Ouch. That 30-minute run would contain a lot of Ouches.)

To get rid of my funk & resurrect my love for my triathlon habit, the new Official Plan:

1. Give Nation's Tri a shot. I did pay for it, & I do love running & biking in my city.

2. Next week, hit one training session per sport. Do it for fun only. Ignore training plan.

3. Relay Savageman with Meredith. Give it all on the 2nd half of the bike. Leave nothing left.

4. On weekends before Army 10-miler, run at least an hour.

5. Complete Army 10-miler as a training run.

6. Finish October as a fun month. Ignore all workouts if needed. Hit belated 10-year HS reunion. Celebrate Zoe's first birthday. Hit as many Halloween parties as possible.

7. Decide sometime in October/late September if signing up for IMFL09. (& Remember that this for fun - not for stress.)

Sounds good to me.


Surf's up.

Around 4pm today, the curls of ocean started looking very, very tempting. Mike & I ran back to the hotel room, donned our suits, nabbed our boards, & were out the door. The waves were sporadic & speckled with a dozen or so surfers. On my difficult traverse out to the surfable conditions, my surfboard was torn from me, & my leash broke.

After a quick jaunt to the surf shop to fix my broken leash, I "caught" 3 waves. One spectacular failure occurred when my board nosed into the wave as I popped up. I'm particularly proud of that one.

I still need to work on my pop-up, per the usual. I know if I can catch a wave, where the wave will break, when I've caught the wave, when the drop-in happens. Yet, I'm still getting stuck on the pop-up. I'm fantastic on riding half upright, but standing has always been a little more difficult.

Mike did alright as well. I watched him disappear numerous times beyond the sea foam crest.

This is a great surf trip already. Hopefully, tomorrow will have more manageable waves in the AM.


It's become apparent that the surefire way to meet new guys is to A) wear a bikini & B) hold a surfboard. This afternoon, I met 9 guys when Mike left me for random things. I'd say that I was alone for an average of 10-30 seconds before someone would approach me to chat.

This works even better than looking confused/forlorn in Whole Foods gluten-free section!

Patriots Half-Ironman Race Report.

For those of you unawares, my "A" race was canceled due to safety issues regarding Tropical Storm Hanna. Pursuing an alternate race (either DiamondMan on Sunday (Delaware) or the Duke Liver 1/2) wasn't really an option for me. On my commute home on Thursday evening, I pondered what to do & came up with the only solution that brought a smile to my face & a glow to my cheeks.

I called the only friend I knew that would A) not worry/balk at the idea, B) would be able to leave "whenever", C) would be thrilled at the opportunity, D) not bail on me last minute, E) know what he's doing, & F) say yes.

So, I called Mike & asked him if he wanted to surf pre-/post-Tropical Storm Hanna. His answer was, "That sounds like a good kind of crazy. I'm down." After the official cancellation from the Race Director, I called Mike & said we were a-go. In a few short hours, we were gone.

Below is written my "race report" for the Patriots Half-Ironman. It is how I spent my hours where I would've been pushing myself to exhaustion (& back again).


Saturday, September 6th, I awoke from my hotel room 30 minutes prior to race start, peeked out of the window, & noted some good waves but terrible wind. Noticing that my surfing companion was still slumbering in his bed, I decided to wait & see what the next hour held before yelling, "Surf's up! Let's go!!"

The next hour held a typical pre-storm downpour. Rain. Winds. Rain & winds. The hotel continental breakfast had bagels, pastries, waffles, pancakes, cereal, juice, & fruit. Mike had frosted mini-wheats. Given the name of the cereal, I decide that it's not safe to grab a handful for munching. I had juice & fruit. (Life on the gluten-free/dairy-free diet is not easy, yo.)

Back at the hotel room, I downed the rest of my gluten-free granola & then went back to bed while Mike computed (as he does). Hours later, we meandered down to the boardwalk to see what the beach held. If the surf looked moderately possible, we'd try. If not, well..... more downtime. (This is why I brought 3 books & my lappy top.)

The surf, as well as the patrolling of Police, indicated that it was not especially safe for our surfing adventures. We hunkered down for a meal at a local Greek establishment where the waitress was shocked at my eating ability ("OH!! You ate the WHOLE THING?! Sorry... Most people say it is too much. It IS a half chicken.").

Now, we're back at the hotel, sitting on what would be our porch with our laptops, waiting for the surf to get good. That promises to be tomorrow - as our forecaster said it would be. Our surfboards are sitting in the hotel room looking expectant.

Like them, I can't wait.


When life gives you lemons...

My Half Ironman is canceled. The Plan said that I would race Patriots & then I would assess if I would/could compete in Ironman Florida.

Now, that plan is out.

So, what am I going to do now?

I'm going surfing!! Catch ya later!


Whirlwind & Imminent Rain.

Why is it that many of my life's events are punctuated with large storm systems?

My brother's birth & Hurricane Andrew. Driving through some off-the-coast TS's winds to visit Orlando. The Charley, Ivan, Jeanne debacle that forced my move to DC. Then, the move back to Orlando. Then, Wilma.

Knowing how to secure a house in an hour for an oncoming Hurricane. Knowing which Hurricane category to do it for. Cooking mac & cheese on the grill because we were still out of electricity. Not having electricity for weeks. Cold showers. No air conditioning. Being thankful that we had 3 days worth of water saved.

"Florida - Check, please!"

Now, Tropical Storm Hanna is going to rain on my Half Ironman. Seriously. SERIOUSLY! I live in Washington, DC - Not South Florida - Not Central Florida. Washington, DC!

If the winds pick up, it's going to be hard to ride a bike through a Tropical Storm. That drive through the TS's winds years & years ago? Most of the time, I found myself in another lane on I-95. That was in a car... Imagine that on a bike.

Theoretically, Hanna should be relatively tame when it hits Williamsburg. Hopefully, she won't even have a name by then.

I hope.



One thing that my life as a Floridian has taught me - You never know what is going to happen with major storm systems. Whenever hurricanes/depressions/storms were approaching, we always watched & waited. We always had plenty of water, food, & sundries on hand throughout the summer & fall. Yet, we never barricaded the windows until the storm was about to hit land. It could, after all, be a waste of time, energy, & sometimes resources.

Consider Hurricane Charley. Category 1 the day before landfall. Heading towards Tampa. No worries. Who worries about a Cat 1 that's not even coming towards us? We'll get moderate winds & some light rain.

The day of landfall? Category 4 & hitting Punta Gorda with a beeline to Orlando. Destruction everywhere. Blue tarps instead of roofs for years. YEARS.

With hurricanes & tropical storms, you never know what's going to happen. You just watch & wait. Watch & wait.


Also, for those of you who don't know:

Tropical Storm (definition courtesy NOAA):
A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) ranges from 34 kt (39 mph or 63 km/hr) to 63 kt (73 mph or 118 km/hr).

39mph to 73mph winds.


Odds & ends.

  1. Voting is up for the Iron Cupcake challenge. Vote for me (or others) at http://mkecupcakequeen.blogspot.com/.

    Feel free to poke around on other contestants' blogs & check out their pictures as well. I was mighty impressed.

  2. Toenails & fingernails are trimmed for Half Ironman. I still have to pack.

  3. Yesterday, I accidentally had some gluten for lunch. Coincidentally, I feel crappy today, & I had a terrible 30-minute run yesterday. I feel like I have a weight on my chest that won't go away. I'm cooking all my food at home until the HIM.
    Please, please, please let this go away before the race.

  4. Tropical Storm Hanna is threatening to downpour on my HIM. Truthfully, I'd rather have rain on the run than towering inferno heat.

    Can't we have one good weather race this year?

  5. Also, I think I've finally chosen where to get my tattoo placed. 8 years of deliberation & I still want it. Thundercats are go!