Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Trench Mouth

Okay, for those who don't know...I finally proposed! Although I sometimes come off as a strong headed opinionated feminist of sorts, I'm not talking marriage proposal here. I finally proposed my literature review and research topic to my committee of professors and obtained approval from the school to start collecting data for my thesis! It only took me three years...but I'm already a self proclaimed slacker face, so it's cool. (and yes, please add slacker face, jerk face, idiot face, dummy head etc. to your verbal repertoire as I use them quite commonly)

So after a slightly sweat breaking presentation to a group of professors from our department...here is a photo of Stephanie and I showing off our signatures.

Seeing as Stephanie decided to be all grown up and get married in February...she was quite anxious to get started on our data collection. (Despite all sarcastic remarks I will be eternally indebted to Stephanie for pushing me to actually accomplish work on my master's thesis) Being naive and over zealous, we scheduled no fewer than 5 subjects for our very first day of lactate threshold testing.

Note: when doing research plan on every possible worst case scenario taking place

As is the nature of research for everything to go drastically wrong...our first day in the lab was no disappointment. The day started off around 6:30 am. Testing out my new found phlebotomy skills was stressful in and of itself...and although I find myself quite adept in the area of sticking needles in people's veins, I was not without fault a time or two.

Secondly we managed to pick the world's most pansy butt boys for our study. Okay, that is a bit harsh, but literally as soon as we got our first guy up and running on the treadmill in the midst of blood samples every three minutes, I went to check on the second subject who was supposed to be watching tv for 30 mins. He reported he was feeling slightly light headed after looking down at the venous catheter I so expertly placed in his antecubital vein. Thus, I decided to help him to a chair to sit down and no sooner found Stephanie rushing to my aid as he fainted in my arms!

To make a long story a bit shorter...the blood analyzing took us longer than expected and after a grueling 14 hours in the lab with no stops for food or drink we headed home around 9pm, discouraged and dreading the next day. The fun continued the rest of the week as we placed subjects on the underwater treadmill only to find their veins constricting in response to the cold...Anyhow, the whole point of this was we worked about 12-14 hours every day that week. Yeah, it pretty much sucked and things such as eating lunch or dinner kinda got pushed on the back burner.

Before I knew it I had lost five pounds and was experiencing a raging fever Friday afternoon. Yet we were in the midst of our last subject of the day and there was no one else that could step in and help Stephanie as it was past 5pm in the evening. Thus I stayed in the lab and sat in a chair, (for lack of strength to stand), bundled up in my winter jacket because I was freezing cold and pipeted those stupid blood samples! As I contemplated having to come back the next day, Saturday, to work in the lab another 6 hours in addition to having to attend my friend's bridal shower and go to salsa rehearsal while feeling like crap I could not stop the tears from streaming down my face! Meanwhile it was Stephanie's birthday and she too had been laboring for about 12 hours that day! Yes, that week was filled with many tears for the both of us...

Additionally I had noticed something strange about my gums...they seemed really tender. In fact when I stopped to eat an apple for lunch on Friday they started bleeding when I bit into it. By Saturday morning they were all swollen and red and it hurt to brush my teeth. Sunday was worse and I found I could not each anything without excruciating pain in my gums...indeed they ached when I wasn't eating. I finally went into the doctor Monday morning was diagnosed with Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG).

The doctor started me on penicillin and had me rinsing my mouth with hydrogen peroxide. Out of curiosity and skepticism as to whether she had correctly diagnosed my condition I looked up ANUG on the internet. It turns out it described my symptoms to a T! Fever, swollen gums,
lymph nodes, painful ulcers on the gums which may spread to lips and cheeks, concomitant viral infections, more common in young adults under the age of 35.

Apparently ANUG is caused when there are too many normal mouth bacteria. It can be triggered by emotional stress, poor nutrition, smoking, poor oral hygiene, or throat, tooth, or mouth infections. This lovely disease is also commonly referred to as Trench Mouth because many of the soldiers were afflicted with it during WWI. Because I have impeccable oral hygiene which has not changed...I self diagnosed the cause to be emotional stress. However a possibility exists I had another stupid viral infection in my tonsils which could have triggered it. By any means it was quite painful and lasted a full 10-13 days before my mouth fully recovered. As always...I couldn't resist taking a few pictures. So behold if you dare...the TRENCH MOUTH!

Okay, this is me, slighlty comparable to vampire if you will. Completely alluring from the outside appearance (okay, no I don't think I'm that cute but you get the point)...little do you know what lurks behind those lips.

Here the ulcers have so lovingly spread to my lip.

Okay, for those of you brave enough click on the image to really enlarge it. Please note the lining of my gums on my upper front teeth...yes, not smooth but rough. Please note all the white ulcers particularly noticable on the lower gums.

And this is what I got to wake up to quite frequently...blood clotted gums.

Oh, I managed to get about five canker sores on my tongue as well.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

St. Georgeous

So for whatever reason "Musings of a Mad Scientist" was not met with much enthusiasm? I personally find it fascinatingly revolting! So to spare all the weak stomached I shall post something else so we no longer have to view the beaker of mucousy gastric juice.

Due to my highly developed slacker skills I have many big things to write about and don't know where to start...

Let us travel back in time to the wee hours of the early morn on Oct 4, 2008. It was a cold and rainy morning down in St. George Utah as I loaded the bus at 5:20 am. I pondered the fact I hadn't trained for this marathon at all! Literally one eight mile run approximately 3 weeks before followed by some avid couch potato-ing down in Lake Powell. Upon my return I did one 15 mile run and then gave myself shin splints 5 days before by running a hasty 6 mile downhill loop. IDIOT! I was not looking forward to the run or post-run muscle soreness.

When we got off the bus we headed straightway for the Port-O-John's, I was pretty certain we would not get through the line before the gun sounded. As we waited in the dark and rainy chaos that ensued at the starting line, we we're informed by the announcer this was only the second time it had ever rained in the history of the St. George Marathon!! Lucky us!

As predicted the gun sounded for the start of the race. When I finally got to use the bathroom I realized the Port-O-Potty was fresh out of toilet paper...panic set-in!!

Let's think this through rationally, here are my options:

1. go searching for toilet paper before I drop my draws...well, seeing as there are like 20 people in line behind me it was unlikely I'd get my spot back...not an option

2. limit myself to going "numero uno" and save the rest for later...it's only 26.2 miles of misery...definitely not an option

That pretty much concluded the rational thinking portion. So I did what I had to do and resorted to using the cardboard toilet paper roll for all it was worth! After that I ran to drop off my sweats before heading to the starting line. Although the gun had already sounded, because of the great multitude of runners, many had not even crossed the starting line yet. I jumped in with the crowd and started the drudgery.

As we left the hustle and bustle of the start area we literally ran into a dark abyss. It is at this time you begin thinking to yourself..."I am certainly off my rocker! Why am I doing this? It's both weird and crazy!" And yet the crowds of mentally insane runners surrounding me, the darkness, the rain, the sounds of heavy breathing, shoes on the wet pavement, and Rihanna's latest hit "Disturbia" playing in my head phones filled me with excitement!

I originally started out with the four hour Cliff Bar pacer thinking, I'll keep up with this crowd until I can't hold on anymore. Yet the adrenaline rush in the first mile had me sprinting ahead and reevaluating my game plan...I'll run a little faster while I'm feeling good and then tag onto the group when I start to burn out.

Mile one passed very quickly as did mile two and three. By this point I could feel my shin splints starting to resurface and my calves felt tight. I knew I'd be okay for the first eight miles but was pretty sure I'd feel ready to throw in the towel by mile 13 and most definitely by mile 16. Mile thirteen came and went surprisingly fast! My split time was 1 hr 54 min. That's an 8:45 min average mile time. I must say I was somewhat frustrated with my time. I mean, I've run probably 8-9 half marathons in my day and my fastest one was only 1:50:00 with an average of around 1:54. So here I am running a 1:54 and I've got 13 more miles to go....obviously I could be running those halves much faster!! Argh.

Anyhow as I continued to run it continued to rain. I had been pretty much soaked to the bone by mile two but actually enjoyed the cool weather as I ran. I was shooting for consistent 9 minute miles by this point in the run. The funny thing was I kept coming in under nine and I daresay pretty close to eight minute miles. Eventually by mile 18 I somehow managed to figure I could finish the race pretty darn close to a 3:40... (For those who are unfamiliar that is the Boston Marathon qualifying time for women my age)...all I would have to do is run my last 6 miles each in 8 min flat!

It just so happened the play list on my ipod ended right after I had a glimpse of the Boston Marathon goal. Because of the rain and cold my ipod froze up, so I was going it alone the last six miles. All I can say is those last 6 miles were tough! Almost as mentally exhausting as they were physically. I knew I'd be cutting it close and there would be nothing worse than to miss the qualification time by 30 seconds!

Well, I know I pushed myself as hard as I could the last two miles. My calves were SO incredibly tight. Literally I felt like my calf muscle might rip out of my skin with every step and the jolt of my feet making contact with the ground sent a searing pain up my shins. I dashed across the finish line and stopped my wrist watch...3:40:07

Seven seconds over!!! Oh the agony...my only consolation was that I was done running. Well, the good new is these "Boston Marathon" folk realize that is a harsh reality for many...so they actually give you a 59 second allowance...which in short means...I qualified for the Boston Marathon!!!

Well, it literally took me a week to recover from the race. My friends got a good kick out of watching me try to go up and down stairs...but ultimately it was worth it. And not only did I qualify for the Boston but I ran a negative split running my fastest half marathon ever with a time of 1:46!!

All in all I have concluded I have not pushed myself hard enough in the past. Or perhaps all that salsa dancing has paid off in the cardiovascular department...or road biking :) Either way I've screwed my future running career as I now must beat a 3:40 in my next marathon and a 1:46 in my next half!

Woe is me!


I'd like to give a special thanks to the following individuals for keeping me company the first 18 miles of the marathon:

Chris Brown
David Archuletta
Katy Perry

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Musings of a Mad Scientist

Date: 19 October 2008

Room Temperature: 23 degrees C
Relative Humidity: 24%
Barometric Pressure: 659 mmHg

Today's study is being used to measure the rate at which pickle juice empties from the stomach. Subjects will be suckered and bribed into the following procedures:

Upon entering the laboratory subjects will ingest 5 ml of water/kg body weight to ensure adequate hydration. After routine placement of a venous catheter and voiding of the bladder the real fun begins...

Testing the Gag Reflex:
Subject will begin by testing their gag reflex by inserting a length of plastic NG tubing running through the nose and esophagus and into the stomach. In the event the subject is not man enough to swallow the NG tubing, subject will receive verbal hazing from all laboratory assistants before being dismissed from the study.

Testing the Gag Reflex of Lab Assistants:
When the NG tube has been placed a large syringe will be used to empty the contents of the stomach. All brown floaty gastric juice and foamy mucus is sucked from the stomach and collected in a beaker. This step is not only crucial for obtaining accurate measures of pickle juice concentration later on, but also tests the gag reflex of all lab assistants present.

In Case No One's Thrown Up Yet:
Once the subject's stomach has been emptied they will have 90 seconds to ingest anywhere from 500-700 ml of pickle juice. For those unfamiliar with standard units that's approximately a nice 20 oz. Big Gulp of straight up dill pickle juice!

I believe the look on Brett's face says it all.

However Dan's the one who actually managed to puke pickle juice all over his arm. And yes we had to measure and record the volume of his puke. Yummy!

The Cherry On-Top:
Following the ingestion of pickle juice the gastric contents of the stomach will be mixed by sucking pickle juice in and out of the subject's stomach via their NG tube.

You Really Thought the Fun was Over:
Once the subject is released from the laboratory they will be advised to drink plenty of water immediately to avoid a bad case of the runs...little do they know they will most likely get a bad case of the runs either way.

[ I'll spare you the picture on this one ]

Did I mention we pay $10/hr??

PS- if you haven't had your fill my friend Nate also made a great post on this one...check it out at The Book of Nate.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Behold a photo documentary of our LOTOJA experience:





Okay, that was a bit cheesy but you get the idea. Stephanie, Lauren, Angela, and I relayed a road race from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, WY. It was tons of fun but very challenging.

We managed to SHOVE 2 bikes, a cooler, and four people into Annie's blazer! It was quite the squeeze...check out Steph and Brett in the back seat on the way upto Logan. Being advised Logan would be packed with people we thought it might be a better idea to catch dinner in Brigham City. Have you ever been to Brigham City?? Yeah, not the best idea. They have approximately two places to eat...Donna's Family Diner or Maddox. We choose Maddox and although it was around 7:30pm I felt like we were catching the Early Bird Special! I'm pretty sure the average age in Maddox was 65 yrs old.

After using half the salt shaker on my vege pasta we paid our bill and set out for Logan. My friend Annie's brother and sister in law were so gracious to let us crash at their place for the evening.

We woke up bright and early at 6:30am to meet Angela at the first exchange point. Brett decided to wake up with a little Rage Against the Machine...you'll also notice a box of wheat thins in the car. Some how those didn't last past 8am??? Weird.

I was the second rider, don't be fooled by the calm and collected look I'm pulling off in this photo. You will not be disappointed or surprised that I spent a good half hour whimppering about how nervous I was.

From left to right...Steph, Annie, Me

So that's what my butt looks like from behind...

...and here comes Angela handing off the first leg.

We were excited to run into our dear friend Jackie and her baby Jefferson supporting husband and father Jason. Jackie was such a trooper carting around Jefferson for 11 hours in the car and running to meet her husband with food and drink...wow!

Speaking of support crews we had quite the awesome support team ourselves! This is Annie (dear friend and fellow grad student) and Brett (dear friend and Steph's Boyfriend)...our support crew.

After 21 miles uphill and an additional 24 miles working downhill and flat I was definitely ready to hand off to Stephanie. Her and Semaj,(her bike) look rearing to go in this photo...

...and now the nerves have clearly set in.

Stephanie had a really tough leg of the race as well, riding the two steepest climbs in the race. I was not shocked to hear rummor of Steph pulling a pack of 15-20 guys for quite some time. For those unfamiliar with cycling the first person in a group of riders cuts wind for everyone else drafting. Normally a line of riders will rotate through pulling the pack because the first person does significantly more work. Stephanie on the other hand has some type of superhuman mutant gene which allows her legs to never get tired. Additionally she's not about to be out done by very many people...especially guys...and even more ESPECIALLY other girls!! Ha, ha...

The other riders clearly thought she was as crazy as I know her to be! Finally someone shouted, "Hey Red, you don't have to do all the work we can pull too!" After some convincing she finally let one other guy trade off in pulling the pack?? You're a POWERHOUSE Steph!! Stubborn too :)

Oh here's a great shot...it's an Asian tourist flashing the peace sign.

Annie was a little upset her and Brett weren't providing more "support"...although we were thrilled to have the company as well as the drivers. Anyhow, here is Brett supposedly helping me "fix" my bike. Nothing was actually wrong with it. Ironically just after this exchange I sent out the SOS text message...HELP, don't leave, we're at the start!! Lauren actually did run into a little problem with her tire and it's a good thing we had our support crew or we'd have been high and dry and just plain out of luck.

I decided I wan't to be as "hard core" as Stephanie who rode two legs of the race. One on her own and a second one with Angela. So I decided to ride the last 47 miles with Lauren.

Here's the hand off..that's Stephanie and Angela rolling in.

And that's Lauren and I taking off. Literally 1 minute later is when we realized something was funny with Lauren's tire. However it proved to be only a minor set back (15 minutes). Infact, I was a much bigger set back at this point in the game. I felt good about the first hour into the ride but then my legs decided to remind me I'm not Stephanie and they had already riden a hard 45 miles earlier in the day! We finally tagged onto the back of a pack of about 7 riders and it took all my energy just to hang on the back of the draft! The whole time my back was aching and my legs were so tired. I didn't think I'd be able to hang on much longer and kept thinking in my head, just tell Lauren to keep going...you can't hang on any longer!! And yet I did hang on and on and on...for about a whole hour!! (I was proud)

I think what really gave me the drive to keep up with the pack was the fact I'd be riding in misery twice as long if I let myself fall off on my own! Those drafts really make SUCH a difference in speed and time, it's amazing!

I actually did lose the pack eventually because I wasn't paying attention when we made a sharp hair pin turn up a little hill. I didn't gear down and totally had to unclip on the hill...it's a good thing no one was behind me or it would have been a pile up. Thankfully a rider from the pack who had stopped to relieve himself caught back up and told Lauren I'd dropped off the back.

Lauren was a doll face! She waited up and then pulled me in the last 7 miles or so.

Here's a lovely shot in Jackson when I was hating my life!

There's a glimps of the finish line. I actually didn't believe any of the signs that said 5km left!! because I couldn't see any signs of civilization on the horizon! Ha, ha...

Brett finally had enough of driving...so he decided to run a little 4k! That's right, I said 4km!

12.5 hours after we started...we FINISHED!!! Do I look dead?? Good, because I felt like it. 93 miles is currently the longest ride I've done in one day! Our finisher medals were pretty cool...they are miniature chain rings if you can't tell.

And last but not least is Lauren's naked blanket photo! Probably slap happy with exhaustion but I couldn't stop laughing when Lauren wrapped that blanket around her shoulders because it looked like she was commando underneith!

The end of another adventure!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Inconsistencies associate with the VO2max/anaerobic hypothesis

Another hilarious excerpt from my readings today, enjoy:

Exercise at extreme altitudes is not limited by high blood lactate levels or by indications of limitations in cardiac or respiratory function. As discussed, during maximal exercise at increasingly higher altitudes, cardiac output actually decreases. This is strong evidence for protective mechanisms that prevent cardiac, central nervous system, and skeletal muscle damage. From the standpoint of the organism and its physiological control mechanisms, fatigue is preferable to death.

In case you missed the hilarity in that let's review.

Interviewer: Excuse me Mr. Organism, but what is your standpoint in regards to fatigue vs. death?

Organism: Naturally I feel fatigue is preferable to death.

Interviewer: Would you like to expound on that for us? Why exactly would you choose fatigue as opposed to death.

Organism: Well, for starters, if I were dead we wouldn't be having this conversation would we? I mean, you can defiantly recover from a fatiguing bout of exercise but I'm not at all trained in the science of exorcism.

Interviewer: That's a good point. Thank you for your time Mr. Organism.

(Mr. Organism continues to beat. Pumping blood to body tissues with each contraction.)

Interviewer: And there you have it folks, from the mouth of the Organism itself, the organism prefers fatigue to death!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Since no one wants to answer my phone calls and listen to me complain about life...

As implied from the title of this post, I am officially homeless. My belongings now reside in some random lady's house, Chelsey's garage, and the back seat of my smurf mobile. For anyone who has not experienced the homeless life of a wandering vagabond, I don't recommend it. Sure you save on rent, (which by the way is not why I am homeless), but it's a big pain in the butt! I will spare you the full details of my housing dilemma but let me show you what I'm up against.

$850 / 3br - Well maintained, 3 bedroom beautiful house w/ modern bathrooms

The fact that they feel the need to specify "modern bathrooms" concerns me. Seriously, modern bathrooms as opposed to what??? An outhouse? Okay, in case you think I'm just being picky I actually looked into this place but it's not an option as they are looking for someone to take over the mortgage on the home.

Additionally, while I'm in the business of wallowing in my despair...I would like to complain that my underarms hurt. Somehow I once again was convinced to sell my body to science for only $10.00. It was a study on different types of crutches and which ones are most energy efficient and comfortable. Well, the bruises on my underarms will testify the are NOT comfortable!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bus Driver vs The Defiant Fourth Grader

Wherever there is injustice, you will find us. Wherever there is suffering, we'll be there. Wherever liberty is threatened, you will find...

Those of you who know me well know that I can sometimes I can get pretty fired up. There are a few distinct experiences from my past which evident this. Actually there are probably more than a few, but that's beside the point.

Case Study #1: Bus Driver vs Defiant Fourth Grader

Perhaps you have long since forgotten the days of riding the big yellow school bus. Let me refresh your memory. First off an unspoken hierarchy exists in regards to elementary school in general. In the case of riding the bus it's no question fifth graders automatically sit in the very back of the bus. The reasons for this are quite apparent to any self respecting fifth grader. First it establishes your position at the top of the social hierarchy. Secondly you create the largest amount of distance between you and the authority figure on the premises, the driver. Third, a trip on the old yellow school bus is somewhat like a mini amusement park ride, and all the kids know you definitely catch the most air off any bumps or pot holes when sitting in the back! Naturally if the fifth graders are in the back of the bus the other children follow suit and we have none other than the first two row reserved for our dear little kindergartener's.

Which leads me to remember the demoralizing act of going from "King of the Bus" in fifth grade to being a lowly sixth grader in middle school and having to once again sit in the first few rows. As if this transition was not hard enough the eighth graders in my school felt the need to initiate the sixth graders daily by spitting handfuls of sunflower seeds at our heads.

Anyhow, now that we've reminisced and set the scene, imagine the fourth grade version of me. I pretty much looked exactly the same except I was shorter had bangs and very nerdy glasses. Personality wise I still had a large amount of social propriety in public and was pretty much a non-confrontational easy going child (at least that's how I remember it).

So one afternoon back in elementary I boarded the school bus as usual taking my rightful place as a fourth grader in a mid-rear seat. Following the example of my older and highly esteemed fifth grade elders, I was not seated completely on my butt. Instead I sat propped with one foot standing on the floor and one knee resting on the bench seat with my back against the window. This stance not only gives forth and fifth graders a feeling of dominance it also gives the child a better view of the whole bus.

Suddenly and with complete disregard for my position within the elementary school social hierarchy the bus driver specifically asked me to sit down. Naturally I respect authority and rules and would have been happy to oblige the bus driver's request, I just had one simple request of my own. Seeing as SEVERAL other children including my elder brother and his friend, were also standing up, I found it only just that they also be asked to sit down.

Apparently my logical and innocent request was misinterpreted by the bus driver as some type of challenge to her authority. Thus she repeatedly and specifically asked only me to sit down. I don't recall if I actually sat down but I must have continued to argue my point. Finally as the bus pulled up to my stop I hurried off the pull and muttered not so quietly under my breath, "you're stupid"! The bus driver immediately responded with, "what did you say?" Not about to let the bus driver get the best of me I clearly repeated, "I said you're stupid"! To which the bus driver challenged, "why don't you say that to my face"! Without a moment's hesitation I marched back up the giant steps of the bus and said, "you're stupid"! and then immediately fled the scene as fast as my little feet would carry me without turning around!

In retrospect, I fully admit, regardless of what the other students were doing, yes, I should have sat down when asked. But might I remind you, I was only in forth grade at the time. However let us also consider the maturity level of the bus driver as she challenged a fourth grader to, "say that to her face"! Yeah, I'm definitely less embarrassed to be the defiant fourth grader in this situation!

Stay tuned for:

Case Study #2: Choir Teacher Admits Defeat to Justice Seeking Eighth Grader

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Article Review

As you can tell I'm lacking in my blogging creativity...apparently I shared all I had to say in about four months. Which pretty much consisted of poking fun at my large head, weird research activities, a few dating woes, etc. So I've decided to leave the writing to someone else this time.

The following is an exerpt from a research paper I was reviewing for my thesis.

Each subject retired to insert a rectal probe 10 cm beyond the anal sphincter. One subject did not consent to this procedure. Prior to immersion, the level of the tank water was set 2 cm below the level of the gluteal fold in order to accommodate lower limb volume. (Burnley et al 2002)

Ha, ha, this is how I entertain myself, and I'll tell you what...there's definitely more where that came from! One word, Pubmed, knock yourself out :) Okay, I'm sounding lame now. But seriously can we please discuss the lame-o that wouldn't consent to the rectal probe? And let us please give a hollar for "gluteal fold"...ha, ha, I can't say it without laughing.


Burnley, M., Doust, J., H., and Jones, A., M. Effects of prior heavy exercise, prior sprint exercise and passive warming on oxygenn uptake kinetics during heavey exercise in humans. Eur J Appl Physiol 87: 424-432, 2002.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Queen of Donuts

Since the completion of my half ironman triathlon back in June, I have come to a few conclusions. First, riding my bike is on average much more fun than running. Secondly perhaps two thirds of what I look forward to on race day is finishing so I can eat! With this in mind Stephanie and I happened upon the perfect event, lo and behold...The Tour de Donut consists of three 7 mile laps. Between each lap racers enter a trinsition area where they eat as many donuts as they can before continuing on their bikes. Each donut eaten subtracts three minutes from your total race time.

Here are Stephanie and I with our matching bicycles. For those who are unaware I facea a rather diffucult decision this summer...a trip to Costa Rica with my girl friends or a brand new road bike of my very own. Naturally I chose the bike :) jk...but serioulsy, I chose the bike.

Here is a lovely butt shot. It initially looks like Steph is touching my bum but upon further examination you will note she is holding her bicycle seat.
Here I am shoving my face in true heffer fashion. Steph took it upon herself to help pace me on the bike...I so graciously returned the favor by pacing her on the donuts!
For the record we ate four donuts at our second transition in only 5 minutes!!

And it all seemed to pay off in the end...that's right we were crowned the official Queens of Donuts for eating more than any other female at the race...a whopping 6 donuts each!! Not only that we had the fastest female times with our 18 minute deduction :)
About the Author

The Guera Salsera was born and rasied in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. She developed a love for the great outdoors at a very young age through many family camping trips. It was not until much later in life when she discovered the joy of salsa dancing, wakeboarding, roadbiking, and torturing people in the laboratory in the name of science. She is somewhat of an anomaly going on seven years at BYU as a single co-ed. Some attribute her single status to the fact she enjoys dressing as a forest gremlin from time to time. Other feel this peculiar behavior is exactly what makes her so uniquely Stellerific!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Blasted Tri

The following is a photo documentary and summation of my very first half ironman triathlon! All in all it was a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. Let me begin by introducing the key players involved in this weekend's events:

Travis: aka: Ultimate Go-to-Guy and Cheerleader!
Travis handled everything from driving, directions, and photography, to waiting on us hand and foot! He was literally waiting at the finish line with sweat shirts and sandals in hand for me and Steph. Travis is pictured here kickin it in his truck!

aka: Coach Power House Jones
Steph is my training buddy, we are in the same grad program at school. Some might describe her as slightly competitive. Lets just say you don't want to encounter other runners or bikers when out training with Steph. It's an immediate unspoken challenge. Steph's pictured here carb loading in the back seat.
Crystelle: aka: Confused young adult doing everything in her power to avoid joining the actual working world of adulthood. Persuaded by coach Jones to do triathlon in meantime.

We had alot of support from all our friends:

Travis is pretending not to know how this Ashlee Simpson album came to be hiding in his big manly truck.
Steph passed out in the back seat. We think she overdosed on carbs.

After arriving in Burley and discovering there is absolutely nothing there, we drove up to Idaho Falls for dinner at Johnny Carino's. After arriving back in Burley we set up camp to get some shut eye. There's nothing like camping to insure a good nights sleep before the big day!

Steph was a little obsessed with carb loading. We found her snacking on Cliff bars hidden under her pillow at 11:30pm.

Travis all ready for bed in his flannel snow man pajama pants.
We awoke nice and early the next day at 5:30am to break camp and force feed ourselves before the big race. Here's Steph wedging herself into her wetsuit. Wetsuits were mandatory as the water was only a mere 56 degree's Fahrenheit!

The naive triathletes all geared up to go. Little did they know what was in store for them.
Steph can be spotted in red and I'm standing in the water directly to her right.
Here we are in the first heat of swimmers. As you can see the water was quite choppy thanks to the strong head winds blowing against us. Poor Steph ingested a little more of the Snake River than agreed with her stomach...she ended up throwing up twice during her swim! Any and all thoughts at this point were..."Well, this rather sucks. My goggles are foggy and I can't see anything over these waves. Oops, I just jabbed my fingers into someones armpit, that had to hurt, sorry. I can't wait to get out of this blasted water and onto my bike".

Well, the bike came soon enough. After struggling for several minutes to strip off my wet suit and shove my numb feet into my shoes I was off. The bike was fun for the first 30 seconds, then my fingers and toes were so badly frozen I was sure I might have to amputate. I know this sounds funny but I literally believed this to be true!

Things were not looking up as I cranked on into the strongest head wind known to man! I had literally been biking for an hour when I finally reached a mile marker that said, "MILE 10". At this point I was thinking, "Oh great, mile 10! At this rate I'll finish the bike in another 4 1/2 hours!!" This misery continued on for another 16 miles or so before we final turned a corner to give us a slightly less difficult cross wind. The only part of the ride I enjoyed up to this point was spitting into the cross wind and watching my spit fly a good 25 feet before hitting the ground! Ultimately we finally changed directions giving us an awesome tail wind but I was too disgruntled by this point to care.

Here I am hating life, I've literally never loathed my bike more than I did on this ride. My thoughts at this point were, "Why did we think a half ironman would be a fun idea? This is NOT fun, I repeat, this is NOT fun!!!!"

Here's Steph, although she also thought she'd may have to amputate a few toes she was relieved not to be up-chucking anymore cliff bars! She actually kicked trash on the bike.
Going into this race I definitely thought the 13.1 mile run at the end of the race would be the suckiest part. Ironically I was so glad to get off my bike it actually turned out to be my favorite part of the whole day. While it was pretty painful to be pounding the pavement on the frozen balls of my feet they were able to regain circulation by mile 2. I actually began to slightly enjoy myself as I passed several runners over the next two hours.

Here's Steph coming into the finish line.

Here's Steph putting on her finishers medal!

Here am I running into the finish line. About a quarter mile from the finish line one of the photographers told me there was no need to sprint to the finish. I responded in my head with, "Hey dummy, you haven't been busting your butt for the last seven hours! I want this wretched experience to END as soon as possible so I'll sprint if I want to!"
The brain isn't functioning too quickly at this point...it was difficult deciding if I wanted a banana or an orange.

Sporting our medals, looks like I went for the water melon! Good choice.
Travis and Steph quickly put our names on the list for a 10 minute massage. Here's Steph getting all the kinks worked out of her gluteus maximus :)

And here's me, Travis likes to point out I took off my sweat shirt but kept my finishers medal proudly displayed around my neck.
A little Scandinavian dancing action at the post race party in true Vikingman fashion.

Steph actually place 3rd place in our age division!
Before our drive home we decided it might be a good idea to rinse off. Despite the fact I was standing in a filthy RV campground bathroom with no soap, luke warm water, and only a t-shirt to dry my body off with...that was one of the all time best showers!

We decided to replenish some of our fat stores at Arby's on our way out of town. If you enlarge this picture you can note the beautiful swimmers hickey on my neck from the wet suit chaffage!

Seeing as Travis is moving shortly, we stopped at temple square one last time on our drive home. Me and Steph decided to sport our cool tri shirts and finisher medals.

Here we are again on top of the conference center. You will notice we are no longer wearing our finishers medals because people kept asking if we "won" to which we kept having to reply, "Uh, no". Apparently finishing isn't cool enough! Lame sauce!
So all in all I would say is was a pretty miserable experience! And yet I pretty sure triathletes must suffer from short term memory loss because despite the pain I have somehow decided it was overall a fun experience. I may just do another one...but don't hold me to that quite yet.