28 July 2009

Peace, Love, And Other Stuff

I've just been listlessly scrolling through my blog and having a laugh at some of my more retarded sign-offs.

"Peace, love and Stephanie Rice."
"Peace, love and polyurethane swimsuits."
"Peace, love and Hawaiian orchids."
"Peace, love and ... corpses."
"Peace, love and tax refunds."
"Peace, love and hot white boys."
"Peace, love and gorgeous nails."
"Peace, love and poo brown eye makeup."
"Peace, love and ribs."
"Peace, love and gorgeous hair."
"Peace, love and apple butts."
"Peace, love and sweet & sour pork."
"Peace, love and versatile, everyday eye makeup."
"Peace, love and macaroons."
"Peace, love and furious filmmaking."
"Peace, love and lovely fragrances."
"Peace, love and beauty."
"Peace, love and bobby pins."
"Peace, love and ... skinny."

Hands up if you're sick of me!

Roman Holiday

Every time I open a pdf of results from omegatiming.com, my jaw drops and I complain about how fast everyone is swimming these days.

Case in point: In last night's World Championship Men's 100m Breaststroke final, winner Brenton Rickard (Australia) clocked 58.58s. Bye bye, world record held by my one true love, Kosuke Kitajima (who, for the record, was not in the race). The three following men - Hugues Duboscq, Cameron Van Der Burgh, and Eric Shanteau all finished in sub-59s, and every man in the final was under 60. That's just crazy. I remember when the world record was 1:00.16! I remember when it was still held by Mike Barrowman! My head is still kind of in a place where going under 1:03 for this event is fast. I'm baffled. Who are these men? What do they do in training!?

Unfortunately, one of my favourites - Stephanie Rice, was beaten in the 200m individual medley final. I'm a longtime Rice fan. I love her hair, her offbeat personality, and most of all, her versatility in the pool - she's competitive in a range of events but especially the medleys, which she won in style at last year's Olympic Games, with world records to boot. This, however, was not to be the case last night as she was reeled in by the American Ariana Kukors (she too, has nice hair, but she's not Steph). Kukors set her own world record - 2:06.15 - which is out of this world! It was thought for years that no-one could touch the drug-riddled Yanyan Wu's old time, which escapes me now because between Rice, Klochkova, Hoff and now Kukors, that time has been blasted into oblivion.

"Rice bubbles over": Steph at last year's Olympic trials

But perhaps the biggest tearjerker of all was when Aaron Peirsol, who I wrote about a few weeks ago when he posted a 51.94s 100m backstroke at the US Trials, failed to make the final for that event. Heartbreaking!! Seriously, huge Aaron fan, and to see him place ninth in an event he's almost monopolised for the last five-plus years killed a little bit of me. You can bet this guy will get his chin up and his revenge on in the 200m event on Thursday. I'll be cheering from all the way down here.

If you're wondering why this entire post is dedicated to swimming and mentions nothing of my life, it's because I'm a bit disenchanted with myself at the moment and it's easier to be excited for people breaking world records than it is about going for a run.

Peace, love, and Stephanie Rice. xo

27 July 2009

Happy Mondays

Well, not so much. I'm actually having a pretty unhappy Monday, but that's okay. It looks like I may be working a film shoot on Wednesday, which is the most exciting thing I will have done in about three months.

I missed training this morning, due to an unexplained inability to get out of bed at 5:20am. I am for real kids, the body was not co-operating. So it went that I didn't rise until 8am, and hit the gym at 11 for a two-hour session that I spent a large part of being unnecessarily angry. Luckily I cleared most of that out of my system for an hour-long run at the end. I am just not a person that can channel angry energy into training. I've been known to turn around after just ten minutes on my bike because I'm mad about something. It's not really very productive, but to be fair I had six excellent training days last week, so I'm letting myself have today as a shitter.

The FINA Aquatic World Championships are now well and truly underway, with the swimming events starting yesterday. And what a start! Federica Pellegrini (of whom I am not a fan) became the first woman ever to break 4 minutes for 400m freestyle long course - she posted a 3:59.15 in last night's final. I've spoken about this before, and about how Janet Evans held the record of 4:03.85 for my entire swimming career (she actually set that time in 1988, so it's almost fair to say she held it for my entire life). I used to think that time was unspeakably fast. To think that Pellegrini swam each 100m of her race in under 60 seconds is remarkable. The bitch can swim. I wish that's all she did.

In another almost unbelievable milestone, the German swimmer Paul Biedermann (anyone heard of him until today? Because I hadn't) took 0.01s off Ian Thorpe's 400m freestyle record. If your memory allows you to, cast your mind back nine years to the Olympic Games in Sydney and remember just how dominant the young Thorpe was over 400m. In that final, he swam something like 3:43, and the world was amazed. In Manchester, two years later at the Commonwealth Games, he recorded 3:40.08 and since then no other swimmer has really gotten close. In his heyday, Thorpe was described by the media as the perfect swimmer. Dave Salo (US coach from Irvine Novaquatics) said he was the evolutionary result of years of swimming theory and practice, and he was hailed - not unlike Phelps is now - as unbeatable. The fact that his 400m time stood untouched for seven years, even in the wake of super-technological swimsuits, is testament to Thorpe's incredible talent. Now, you just wonder how long that time is going to stand. Interestingly, the silver medal last night was won by Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli. This guy won the 1500m last year in Beijing, after having been stood down for the two previous years due to doping. So not really that cool.

Anyway, these World Championships are off to a fast start, and I can't wait for the rest of the events!

Peace, love, and polyurethane swimsuits.

25 July 2009

Uh Oh

I had an early, Facebook- and Twitter-less night last night and rose early to go training this morning. Before leaving my place, I checked the results from stage 19 of Le Tour, but that was all and I was off on my merry way - for two hours of swim practice and an hour of spinning indoors.

Seems not leaving my TweetDeck to run overnight was a pretty crap idea - as it's now 5:35pm (and I've had a two-hour ride on top of the aforementioned training) and I've just learnt that Taylor got a bit smashed up at the Cascade Classic in Bend, Oregon. Which is not the best news I've had all day.


I think the worst thing about this picture is the fact that the road is littered with a body, some bike parts, sunglasses, and drink bottles... and a paparazzo. Really, dude? You couldn't like, help out or something?

Anyway he's since been Twittering and Facebooking to his heart's content from his hospital bed, so we can assume that the slayer will be back in action shortly. Yay.

Another favourite, this time Le Tour rider Christian Vande Velde was in a crash involving a motorbike. Good shit. Not only do these motorbikes kill spectators, they ride into my favourite guy. Not happy! Christian however, has been Twittering away too, and says he's good to haul himself up Ventoux tomorrow. What a tough guy. I wouldn't ride up that and I haven't crashed my bike since January.

It's comforting to know I compete in the world's safest sport...

22 July 2009

A New Dilemma

My life is so full of drama!

Okay, I'm kidding. I don't get out enough to create any drama, so for me, the biggest problem I have is choosing which nail polish shade to buy next. Seriously! I bought some hair dye today and received a voucher which covers the cost of a new OPI shade. But which to buy!? Ah, sometimes I wish I didn't care what my nails look like.

Speaking of not caring, when I got out of my car at the mall, I was approached by a meathead trying to sell car cleaning products. My car has a resale value of about $10, and that's if I take it to Washworld before selling it. It really is just something I use to get to training. I hate cars, I hate driving, and I hate people that spend money on their cars looking fancy.
"Look at the car I just got out of." I told the guy. He had a look, then looked back at me. "Do I look like someone who is going to spend money on cleaning products for that?" He continued to look at me, somewhat dumbfounded, and it was then that I came to the conclusion that he was probably recruited from one of those facilities for frontal lobotomy patients. I walked away without another word.

You would think it would end there, but no. Once I left the mall to return to my car, I was accosted by yet another meathead. "Hi there, how are you today?" I didn't even turn around before I said, quite audibly, "Get away from me."
"Huh?" I'm serious people. These guys can't have fully functioning brains. It's just not possible.

Anyway, back to my original rant: nail colour. I'm currently perusing OPI.com and I'm baffled by the choices. Hawaiian Orchid, Kyoto Pearl, Blushingham Palace, Plugged-In Plum? Argh! I'm told that purple is "in" right now (hence my current colour: Purple With A Purpose) which narrows it down to 27 - two of which I own. Hmmm. But after purple, what's going to be the next thing? Count me out if it's anything close to orange. There should be a law against orange nails.
Thoughts, kids? According to a quiz I took on Facebook ("Which OPI Nail Colour Are You?"), I should go for Makes Men Blush. But it really just doesn't fit in with my lifestyle. Sigh... Life is tough.

I'm happy to be back into the swing of training, after my attempt at a rest day yesterday. So far today, I've done two one-hour indoor cycling classes, a two-hour swim, weights, and a 30-minute run. And that's it until tomorrow morning. I already can't wait.

Peace, love, and Hawaiian orchids.

21 July 2009

Drastic Actions

Today: day off #2.

I tried really hard to make this a "real" day off. Okay, not that hard, it's not like I woke up of my own accord at 5:20am and went for a run, but you know. The gym is the centre of my social life. At 5:45am, I have people to see.

Anyway, AFTER that I tried to not do anything. I even went to the mall (first time since the naked man incident) and found it very boring. The OPI stand didn't have the colour I wanted. My hairdresser was just a little too chipper for my liking. And the range of birthday cards (Danielle's is this Friday) was not up to standard.

I came home, sat around making pointless comments on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social networking sites I am a member of. And then I got my bike out.

Yeah, yeah - it's my day off. Do I really need to ride my bike? Well, turns out the answer is yes, and I think this raises a new question: Do I really need a day off?

I train for seven days on, one day off. You would think, that when you fit four training sessions into each day and by 9am each day have completed more exercise than most mortal souls do in a week, that by day seven, you don't need to do anything. But this simply isn't the case!

And while I know an occasional day off IS in fact necessary (I shudder to think of the repurcussions at Worlds if I practice every single day between now and then without taking a break), they're pretty hard to swallow.

I have twelve hours before my next session begins and I'm anxiously counting down. I think from now on the formula is going to be as follows: train until exhaustion. Then have a half-day off, drink a protein shake, and get back out there.

Bring on tomorrow morning.

18 July 2009

Bikram: Yoga For The Clinically Insane

Take a look around upstairs at 26 Ponsonby Road and you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd walked into a sleepover party. This afternoon, I arrived at East West Studio for my first Bikram yoga class and was met by a bunch of scantily clad bodies laying out on mats in a room just slightly too warm for comfort.

Bikram has been a longheld obsession of mine and Sally's, and the other day when I happened to drive past the studio, I saw my chance to finally try it. So this afternoon I boldly ran up the stairs and registered. The idea behind the practice is fairly simple: 26 poses, performed in sequence, in a room heated to around 40 degrees celsius. Try it if you dare.

I had a good time. I'm sort of freakishly flexible, and overly competitive, so I usually get the wrong end of the stick with yoga and make it into a bend-off (unbeknownst to the other practitioners, of course). This invariably results in my becoming even more flexible, and my already ridiculous ego getting even worse. I tried a different approach this afternoon, and concentrated on posing the best I could (something else right up my alley, I'm sure you'll agree).

One gross thing: sweat! Seriously, kids, I've done a lot of running in my time, and I have never in my life egested as much sweat as I did in the 90-minute class today. I was repulsed when, two minutes into the class, the guy next to me started dripping onto MY mat. Gag. However, by the end of it all, I was just a big slippery mess. It sort of leaves you feeling detoxified, a little bit (after a good shower, anyway). My recommendation? Two towels. One to lie on (you spend a surprising amount of time in the creepily named "Corpse" pose), and one to wipe your face with. Because I estimate you will want to wipe your face at least 40 times.

My general consensus: ka pai. I'd go back every day, if I wasn't moving tomorrow (yeah, more on that later). There's just nothing like being limber.

Peace, love and... corpses.

Time For Another...

Photo of Ryohei Komori.

I'm all over that like tempura on rice.

Leipheimer Out... Le Tour Continues

I was gutted to receive a tweet from Levi Leipheimer last night reporting that he'd broken his wrist in a crash on stage twelve of Le Tour de France. Pretty badly, it seems - as he's needed surgery to have a 22mm screw placed in there somewhere. He managed to take photos while they were doing it, which was... gruesome. But anyway, it's a big loss for Astana, as Levi was in 4th place in the GC. They still have Contador (2) and Armstrong (3), and Levi's departure has meant Wiggins - from my team! - has moved into 4th, and my man Vande Velde now sits in 7th.

Not a happy camper.

I'm pretty sure today is the worst weather of all time ever, here in Bayswater. Seriously. I woke up at 5:30am due to incredibly loud winds and rain, and now I'm not really looking forward to the gym - this is because I have to park a half mile down Symonds Street and walk... it's never nice. And today is probably going to prove to be worse than normal. Can't wait!

And that's my day.

17 July 2009

Mo' Money, Mo' Problems

... Slash NOT.

Today I received the most joyous news since, well... yesterday. I'm not only entitled to a tax refund of $81.50 (NZD, which, okay... isn't a lot, but it's a ticket to Starlight Express, which starts next Saturday night at Vector Arena), but the cheque is sitting next to me, right now!

The reason I'm not at the bank with a huge grin on my face cashing that bitch is because I'm finishing my drink before I go. Mmm, yes. I love money.

Only a few hours ago, whilst driving home to Bayswater, I was musing to myself - yes, I do that - about how fabulous it would be to buy some hot new workout kit. The slight hitch being I currently have a bank balance of $55.

Wow, okay so apparently I have a few more plans for this money than are actually viable... but that's okay. I'm allowed to be excited. All those boring hours spent on Facebook while working at Campus Computers are now paying off (I mean, they also paid off previously when I purchased my two bikes, which set me back about $10,000 all together. Or is it altogether?) and I'm feeling the need to burst into dance. It's a good thing I'm not wearing rollerskates.

Anyway, my drink is now gone, so I'm off to the bank.

Peace, love, and tax refunds, babes.

13 July 2009

Jigger's Day Off

I had my first day off training since being selected for Worlds today.

... No, that doesn't mean I did nothing at all. I did a spin class at 6am, and light weights at lunchtime (mainly to talent-spot in the weights room). But the rest of the day I spent lolling about indoors in the sun (because seriously, outdoors is just not the go in July, guys).

A highlight: my new Specialized Ruby 143 saddle, which I had fitted this afternoon at Cycology in Hamilton. YAY! Finally I can ride my bike again without wanting to die.

A not-so-highlight: being told by former workmate, Malcolm, that my boobs are big. Um, DUH. We know this! He also mentioned I should "consider wearing less" (less than today? Come on, man. I was wearing a singlet!) to the gym. Loooove inappropriate guys.

Anyway, here's a particularly pretty photo of some girl. She's off Harry Potter, apparently (I wouldn't know... the last time I watched that movie I was in bed with Curtis, soooo you can probably imagine I didn't exactly watch it).

Babe-a-licious, yes? I think so, anyway.

You have to excuse the below-averageness of this post. I'm feeling rather unproductive. Tomorrow's going to be all go again. Training sure keeps me occupied.

10 July 2009

Panic! At The Mall

Maybe in my old age I'm becoming more easily offended, but after a trip to the mall (Westfield Shore City, just FYI) today I'm becoming more inclined to stay in my house, buy a cat, and get even more bitter than I am now.

Firstly, when I entered the mall, I walked past three emo boys - white, ginger-haired and about fifteen years old. One of them was wearing hot pink skinny jeans and silver cowboy boots, where his friends wore less retarded, but still attention-seeking outfits. What was their game? Besides looking like complete retards, they gave ME dirty looks (I was in a tracksuit, having just come from the pool). If your child is a fifteen-year-old ginger emo, please, keep them indoors.

This group was followed by another group of three - vogue Asians. I much preferred the latter.

Just when I was getting over my disgust, I saw the window displays at Max - "Max Love Not War". How original. It featured two average-looking, but skinny girls, and an even MORE average-looking boy (I would even go so far to say as he was UGLY) wearing the most enormous wire-rimmed glasses I've ever seen. Oh, and he was naked. NAKED. Sure, his special place was judiciously covered with the corner of a white sheet, but did he REALLY need to be naked?! Really? Okay, so I get that Max don't do men's clothing, but come on! God forbid someone should be carrying their four-year-old child past that store and have to explain why there is a naked man in the window to their little one. I'm disgusted.


I began to feel a sense of urgency to complete my mall trip, so I made a beeline for the exit. Not before, however, noticing a white trash mommy at Mister Minit (a keycutting parlour) coughing, open-mouthed, and sounding like she was about to cough up a little puppy. Did I mention she was coughing right into the face of her four-year-old kid, and the shopkeeper.
"Um, cover your mouth." He suggested gently. She looked repulsed, and then descended into a tirade of abuse I didn't care to linger any longer to listen to.

Seriously, yuk. Everything that happened today at the mall (past my delicious juice, so cheers Tank) was so wrong. This is why people become hermits!


Shut Up And Swim

My childhood friend, Alice Wimsett, used to sport a swimming cap with those words emblazoned on the side while we practiced. It's kind of funny, because for all the talking we did in later years at Rovers, there was definitely more swimming.

For the last few days, Canadian and American swimmers aiming to compete in Rome in a few weeks have been going hard at their respective national trials, and producing some wicked impressive times.

Overnight, fifteen-year-old Amanda Reason, out of Etobicoke, Ontario broke the world record in the 50m breaststroke - the first long course record to be held by a Canadian since 1988. The 50m events of all strokes besides freestyle aren't contested at Olympic Games, so they tend to get broken at seemingly random intervals in the years in between. Amanda's time of 30.23s is pretty quick - I challenge you to go faster swimming freestyle.

This is a record of particular interest to New Zealanders, as it was held in the early 2000s by the Christchurch-based Briton hardass, Zoe Baker. She won the event at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, proceeded to switch nationalities to become one of us, then faded into the background somewhere. Zoe, who was really on her last legs in Manchester, had a reputation at the QE2 pool in Christchurch for refusing to share lanes, barking insults at those who didn't fall in line with her demands, and other bitchy behaviour, but man she was good at breaststroke!
So congratulations, Amanda! I don't know how long that time is going to remain the world's fastest, but you're a world record holder now!

More world record honours have been earnt by my old favourite, Aaron Peirsol. The Californian babe recorded a 51.94 100m backstroke earlier in the week. Seriously! Sub-52 is not messing around. In Melbourne two years ago at the World Championships, he stunned everyone with a 52.98 swim. We were all, "wow, sub 53!" - and look at him now. Aaron, possibly the most laidback guy in the sport, grew up in Irvine and later moved to Austin, Texas to further nurture his incredible backstroke skills. He's lost the stronghold he once had over the 100-200 double, but has become more dominant in the shorter event. Aaron has held this particular world record since 2004 (before then it was held for five years by the equally amazing Lenny Krayzelburg), except for one hot week - last week, actually - where it briefly belonged to the oddly named Spaniard, Aschwin Wildboer. Aaron will no doubt be looking to continue this dominance at Worlds.

There's been other fast times - American Mark Gangloff pulled out a 59.01 (disturbingly close to my Kitajima's 58.91) in the 100m breaststroke final. Gangloff, along with Mark Shanteau, has long lived in the undeserved shadow of Texan Brendan Hansen's shadow, but this time cements him as one of the world's best. Still, we'll see. I'm backing Kitajima for the double in Rome.

Le Tour: Cancellara still leads from Armstrong! Not many guys wear that yellow jersey for six consecutive days (actually, to be fair, not many guys wear the yellow jersey at all), so you can bet he's soaking it up. And Vande Velde has cracked the top ten! He now sits in eighth for the General Classification, after placing 36th in stage six overnight. Let's go kiddo.

9 July 2009

The Emperor's New Clothes

I found this tshirt today on nike.com and I now intend on a purposeful trip to Nike Victoria Park (where those two beautiful Chinese boys work) tomorrow to source it. It's required.

Don't you think it's hilarious? It's supposed to be for yoga, but I think it suits pretty much everything I do. Prancing around on treadmills, attempting to lift weights, hanging out in Newmarket... yep. It's got me written all over it.

Le Tour: who do you think is going to win? Really.
I'm still backing my man Vande Velde, who's now moved up to 12th after five stages. A more realistic threat seems to be that Lance Armstrong kid out of Plano, Texas, who's chasing his eighth Tour victory. Currently, he's within a fingernail of leader Cancellara, and whilst I want him to hang onto yellow for another few days, it doesn't seem that likely. Astana, Lance's team, fills five of the top ten GC places, whereas my team (Garmin-Slipstream) have three.
So who's it going to be? According to a RoadCycling.co.nz survey, 43% of respondents are backing Astana teammate Alberto Contador, and 33% are going with Armstrong. One person thinks Beijing Individual Pursuit (that's a whole 4km) silver medallist, Hayden Roulston is going to win. It would be pretty cool... but I somehow doubt it.

Still... let's go Vande Velde!!


I've found a new favourite training method: overspeed.

Yeah, okay - it's not new. I remember doing it in the pool with bungee cords when I was twelve years old, and practicing its distant and less-liked cousin, drag training, at the track (more often that not, this was achieved by running with a tyre attached to a harness around your waist. Fun fun). But it's a good way to pass the time on the treadmill when it's wet and/or windy outside. And even when it's not. For whatever reason (I'm led to believe that due to the curvature of the Earth's surface, running at zero incline on the treadmill is child's play), it's so much easier to run on the spot at 16kph than it is up Symonds Street. Not that I've tried.

The theory is that running faster than you can handle for sustained periods of time (or in my case, at intervals of about 5 minutes on to 2 minutes off, increasing the speed incrementally for each 5 minute burst) improves your average running speed. Which is kind of what I need to do, if I'm to win a world title 65 days from now. It's similar to fartlek, but for some reason easier. You'll know if you've ever done fartlek. It's like dying. Over and over again for like, forty minutes. Mmm, fartlek.

Anyway, after finishing a spin class today I headed out to a treadmill for my overspeed session. You kind of look like a rabid maniac while you're at it, but I think I'm finally starting to get to a place in my life where I care slightly less about what a bunch of wallies trotting along at 8kph next to me think (it's taken a while).

Now I'm about to collapse and die. But in a good way.

Overspeed is the new black, yo.

6 July 2009

Flag Big Wednesday. Marry A Golfer.

Danny Lee, the Korean-born New Zealand golfer who is gaining a reputation here for not only being good at whacking balls with sticks, but also for being a bit of a jerk-off, won like NZ$9 million today at the AT&T National in Washington today. For a while now, I've considered marrying this guy. You know, since I'm pretty certain he's interested in me *cough*.

I've heard stories about him, like the time he made "inappropriate comments" about the contents of his bag at airport security (okay, when has that ever been funny?), and various other schoolboy mistakes. The general consensus is that he's a bit of a cock. But to be honest, I don't really care. He's Asian, has been seen sporting blonde hair, and he has SO much money. Like, enough to buy me a palace in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Keeeeeen.

And in three years, when he's cheated on me with every golf groupie under the sun, I can divorce his ass, take half his money, and live out the remainder of my life in opulent fashion.

So he's a little bit young (18 to my 23). But isn't being a cougar all the rage now?

Considering the odds of winning Lotto are not unlike being able to guess a stranger's landline phone number (wtf?! Who came up with that comparison?), I like my chances at marrying Danny a little better.

Call me.

Water Is My World

Today I've read a press release which reports some amazingly quick times in the 100m butterfly at the Trofeo Nicoletti and the Giorgio Armani Swim Meet (yes, you read that right), both in Italy. At the former, Serbian Milorad Cavic - the man who almost stopped Phelps - posted a 50.92 for the race. This man has improved beyond belief. He first represented Yugoslavia in the 2000 Olympic Games, bowing out with a disqualification in the heats. In Athens (2004), he swam for Serbia and Montenegro, achieving 18th place in the event. It wasn't until last year that he really hit his stride, earning a silver medal (which could well have been a gold, depending on what angle you watch the finish from). This year, he's being toted as a real shot for gold at Worlds.

Old favourite Andrew Lauterstein recorded 50.93 at the Giorgio Armani event. You just wonder if these two had been racing each other, what could have happened.
Lauterstein has long been my dream guy. Sure, he's way too young, but I remember meeting him when I was 17 at the Victorian Championships in Melbourne and being rather swept off my feet. In those days he was the golden child of Swimming Victoria, but he now resides on the Gold Coast and turns out for Southport Olympic. Anyway, I shed a tear last year when I saw him on the podium for the 100m fly in Beijing, alongside the aforementioned Cavic and that Phelps guy. He's come a long way, baby. His time tonight was a new Commonwealth record and further proof that Andrew Lauterstein is a name to look out for in Rome later this month.

Proof that occasionally, white boys can be hot too.

So there's two more reasons to get into swimming this month... if you can fit it in around Le Tour schedule.

Peace, love, and hot white boys.

5 July 2009

Everybody Dog Poo

I've only recently learnt that the line I chose to title this post is in fact, "everybody dog food", but I don't know if I believe it.

Today was very much a nothing day for me. Aside from watching the Tour, I wasted my day reading various stories sourced from Google News about situations surrounding the death of one of my heroes (yeah, I am a fan - it's just that I never brought him up on here prior to his death and have really wanted to steer clear of the bandwagon effect), Michael Jackson, as well as the even more bizarre shooting of former NFL star, Steve McNair. Is that weird or WHAT?

In the gym yesterday morning, the instructor of the spin class I was attending played Michael's "They Don't Really Care About Us" - a dance routine that Nicola and I perfected on the fields at Fairfield Intermediate School when we were aged eleven. "Is anyone else really upset that he died?" she asked. Um, duh. While I've seen some outrageous comments on Twitter, mostly that refer to those awful allegations of child molestation, I'm pretty sure the world in general is fairly upset about the fact. Actually, yesterday I heard a funny comment from a friend, that she has "a right" to be upset about his death on account of the fact that she owned Michael Jackson Number Ones prior to last Friday (it was Friday morning New Zealand time when TMZ announced to the world that he'd passed away). A right? Okay, then.

I am, and have been since the age of about seven (the first time I recall knowing of his existence), disgusted by this man's treatment by the media. Oddly, it's never put me off yearning to be a superstar just like him - which we all know won't happen anyway, due to my lack of any musical talent past being able to play Hungarian Dance No. 5 in F Major on violin and piano - but it feels like my entire life, all I've ever been told about him are bad things. Since his childhood, people constantly took advantage of his uncommon talent and even less common kind-natured personality. Is it really any wonder that he expired as one of the world's most isolated men? If I couldn't leave my house (or friend's palace in Bahrain) without every scrap of my existence being raped beyond reason, from what I wore, to what I did on my outings, how I dressed my children or otherwise chose to raise them, I have a feeling that I too would become something of a societal anomaly. Perhaps without the prescription drugs, but who I am to say? No-one else on the planet had the life that this man led, so NO-ONE is in any sort of position to judge him.

When I first spoke of Farrah Fawcett's death (past the teary conversation I had with my mum immediately after learning of it) - via Facebook, a friend of mine wrote "oh well, at least she is at peace now." and - due to the uncanny timing of her passing in relation to Michael's demise - she almost is. Her death hasn't become the media circus that his has, although I was disgusted to see paparazzi stifling Ryan O'Neal's first departure from the hospital in which she died
"Ryan, Ryan! How's Farrah?!"
Good god, people, get some dignity!
For some reason, I thought Michael's passing would allow him some sort of abate from the harsh criticism that became part of his everyday life (admittedly less so in recent months, on account of his aforementioned reclusive behaviour). Not so.

Don't you guys remember that great song he sang? "Leave Me Alone"?

For his sake, do it.

Le Tour: Day One

OMG, guys... it's Tour de France time again!

This morning I watched the prologue on three large-screen televisions in an appliance store while my mum picked which iPod colour she liked best (her MP3 was stolen this week by petty thieves while she was at the gym, if you can believe it). I can't say I'm surprised with the current leader: Swiss Fabian Cancellara. Last year I watched from my decidely smaller-screened TV at home when he smashed the Olympic Time Trial race to pieces, and won a bronze in the Road Race.

Cancellara rides for Saxo Bank and is another rider sponsored by Specialized. I can forgive him for this though, because as yet I'm yet to hear any sordid stories about his recreational drug-taking. He won today's prologue with eighteen seconds under his belt - nothing to be sniffed at, and goes into tomorrow's 187km stage to Brignoles wearing yellow.

Notables in the top ten include Alberto Contador (an overwhelming favourite for this year's GC victory), Bradley Wiggins (ridiculously successful British track racer... my dad this morning made a comment about his name. To be fair, I wouldn't care if my name was Butthole Surfer if I could ride like that guy), as well as Twitter favourite Levi Leipheimer, last year's Tour runner-up Cadel Evans, and the ever-impressive seven-times winner Lance Armstrong. He's tenth.

My personal favourite Christian Vande Velde sits in 17th - and according to Twitter he's more than happy with that. Considering that just a few short months ago, a crash left his Tour plans uncertain, so am I. Expect Christian to climb the ranks over the next few weeks - last year he was sixth in the GC.

VdV smiles for the camera...?!

Anyway, over the next few weeks I'll try not to turn my blog into a mini-Tour news site, but I can't guarantee anything, because for three weeks in July every year, I breathe cycling.

Over and out, kids.

Right On Time

... Or three hours late. The latter of which is what we were to Theresa's 21st birthday party tonight. I know. We're great friends.

It was always going to be a day pushed for time - with a spin class in Auckland at 10:15am, followed by a mad dash to get back to Hamilton in time for lunch with Harjeet at 1pm, and a 3pm swim with Sally to cap off the day's activities before getting ready for the big night.

Of course, nothing went to plan. The spin class finished 15 minutes later than expected, crazy and unexpected traffic on parts of the Southern motorway, Harjeet's inclination to run on Bombay time (she arrived at 1:50pm). Not that I expected much more, but it took Sally and I twice as long to swim half as far as I normally do in a training session. So we ended up getting home at around 5pm.

Theresa's party started at 5pm. Not that we, being the idiots we are, knew this. I assumed 7pm would be an acceptable time to turn up, so we aimed for that. However, somewhere along the line it was raised that my little brother Karl also needed a ride (as extended to Sal in a text "so how are we getting there?") which of course, added another hour to our journey. So we arrived, heads hung in shame, at 8pm.

This is why I live out life as an individual, guys! You can NEVER rely on anyone for anything. I mean, yeah I probably could have found out before 4:55pm that the party started at 5pm... but honestly? Harjeet was so late I considered leaving, the swim was completely pointless and would have been better completed alone, and I probably wouldn't have been in such a dark mood all night if I hadn't had to listen to my brother's bitter rants in the car, followed by his insulting my driving, all the way there.

With all that said, of course Theresa's party was great! I loved it, she looked great (as she always does) and there was much fun and revelry to be had be all. I'm kind of gutted that we had to leave early (my brother wanted a ride somewhere else...) but we did have an amazing night and I know that everyone else there did too! So yaaay for Theresa! Happy 21st, congratulations... I love you. xoxo

3 July 2009

It's Now Socially Acceptable To Do Cocaine

And for that reason, presumably, QuickStep's Tom Boonen has been allowed to race in this year's Tour de France, which starts tomorrow in Monaco.

The Belgian Boonen was disqualified in April of this year for using the drug (which one wonders what a cyclist is doing taking anyway...) for the THIRD time in his career. Um, I don't know, but in Hollywood, that's like, enough to be sent to rehab.

Tom is sponsored by my favourite bicycle company, Specialized - which actually makes me a little gutted. Why are they supporting a guy with a drug habit, and NOT ME?! If I hadn't already decided on that Argon 18 model as my next ride... I have now!

Anyway, I guess this is another place where cycling loses fans. Athletes like Lance who test negative to any sort of drug, several times a DAY, get their good names dragged through the mud, while guys like Tom snort it up in the weekends but are firstly allowed to have their positive tests covered up, then when the truth comes out, are still allowed to race in cycling's biggest race?


And what are your thoughts on this, Taylor Phinney?


Nail Polish Dilemma: Sorted

For any occasion which requires me leaving my bedroom (excluding training), there are a variety of aesthetic aspects that require attention.

Hair. Makeup. Dress. Shoes. Nails.

Hair? Sorted. Makeup? Semi-sorted. But I'm a makeup artist. I'll make it work. Dress? Sorted. Sure, I've worn it before, but sometimes when your name isn't Paris Hilton (more on her later), you have to make do with wearing the same dress twice. Shoes: Done. And Nails?! YES.

Last night, I was tossing up between a couple of shades from OPI (of course), so I sent out a smoke signal on Facebook as for ideas. Then Bex arrived.

"Beeeeeeexxxxxxx! Help meeeee!" and she did.

Before I share my chosen colour, let me introduce you to the nominees.

First: I'm Fondue Of You - from the France Collection. You may remember this is the colour I spilt all over our pastel green carpet in December last year. While it temporarily became my least favourite colour, it's since worked its way back into my heart.

Then, Japanese Rose Garden. While it's a colour I was intially drawn to based on the name, I do actually love the colour, and you know, it's pink. And pink is always a winner.

And finally, my alltime-favourite-that's-not-My Chihuahua Bites - We'll Always Have Paris. You just know that going for a dark shade is always class guaranteed.

It even looks sexy in the bottle!

So, what's the verdict? We've gone with Japanese Rose Garden, because we think it will really pop with the turquoise dress I'm wearing. So We'll Always Have Paris goes back on the shelf until next time: RUN Auckland Race Six. Yes, I do wear nail polish for races. I'm secretly Anne Audain at heart.

And Paris Hilton? Ew. Yesterday I saw a photo of her giving an unidentified male a blow job! GROSS. First of all, what the hell are there pictures online of such things for? Seriously?! And secondly, it's funny because she's such a liar she claims to never have done it! Hello?! Yuk. Get out of my life, Paris. Or better yet, get off the face of the Earth.

Peace, love, and gorgeous nails, yo.

2 July 2009


Uh, yep... here's a photo of the back of Ryohei Komori. No, I didn't stalk him and take it myself (there's plenty of time for that at this year's Tour of Southland).

Like I keep saying, October is going to be a GREAT month.


Yesterday I posted this face chart from MAC.

Today, after having my uniform for Worlds fitted (!!!) I went into MAC to check out the shades. Turns out "Sketch" - the colour which appears a rather vivid pink on the chart - is a colour not too dissimilar from "Brazilian Brown", a highly boring shade found in the SRA standard issue palette. So really not that exciting. I'm disappointed, people! I may end up sporting poo brown smoky eyes this weekend. Not exactly what I had in mind.

Levi Leipheimer is organising a bike race - Levi's Gran Fondo. It adds to the excitement that is October, as it's held October 3rd. Anyway, today he released these sweet jerseys for the event. Only 500 are being made... and I want one soooo bad. I just can't afford it, you know?

Anyway, Levi, they're mean. And you're cool.

Peace, love and poo brown eye makeup...

1 July 2009

Bastille My Heart

It's now just three days until my girl Theresa's 21st birthday party! I'm so excited. It's due to be something of a Rovers reunion (Rovers is, for the uninitiated, our old swimming club) and promises to be good times all around! Theresa is, after all, one of the coolest people in my life. I can't wait to celebrate with her.

To that end, I've been grappling over which look I'll be sporting for the party. Given that I'm on makeup duty for quite a few of my friends for the night, everyone is going to be looking pretty much stunning - and that leaves me with quite a task if I'm to outdo them all. Which is always the goal. Always.

I stole the following looks from MAC, and your feedback is welcome.

This wee number is a colourful take on a smoky eye, and one I rather like. While I usually steer clear of purple eye makeup (being blue-eyed... it just doesnt come off the same as if you're brown- or green-eyed) I have in the past successfully pulled it off, so this look is still being considered. I'll probably just go for a neutral or Benetint'd lip with some bronzer to finish it off.

I'm drawn to this look mainly because it's different: the use of blush on the upper apples and temples is not something you see often, and might be difficult to pull off. Not sure how keen I am on the super-gloss lip, something I'll probably tone down, should I choose to go with this one. I love the chunky appearance of the lashes, which will make quite a contrast to my oh-so-formal dress.

This is all kinds of Gaga! Probably a bit dramatic for my event, since it's to be something of a family occasion (and Theresa has sooo much family!) but I like it all the same. Hate the eyebrows, though. This eye would be teamed with a baby pink lip and pink blush on the apples of the cheeks. Just... not that versatile, yeah?

I've saved my favourite until last. It's about as dramatic as you can get without going all Cirque du Soleil! Of course, I have no intentions of stencilling roses onto my forehead - this would require a brow block, which is pretty much my most HATED thing to do ever in makeup. I just love the contrast of the black waterlines and pink, blended out to nothing. The super-pale lip is also something I love.

So, friends, what's it to be?

Halfway There

... To 2010, anyway. Why that's such a huge milestone, I have no idea, because every time a new year rolls around and I'm all "this year, I'm going to be all these amazing things" - only to find myself driving to Wendy's in Albany for lunch on January 1st (no lie: see here for evidence).

Anyway, it's the beginning of a bright and shiny new month today, and leaves me only 72 more days of training before Worlds kick off. (And yes, you can expect a daily countdown from now on. Don't act so surprised.) Seems there's a lot to be done before then - from fitting and ordering uniform (which is to be done before 5pm tomorrow), to organising accommodation, insurance, bla bla bla... all that stuff is kind of boring and I'm pretty sure my mum will take care of it.

It's times like these I'm kind of slightly happy to not have a job. In the lead-up to the Olympics in Athens, I was a full-time (a very lazy full-time, but a full-time all the same) student at the University of Waikato, as well as holding down a job at Hell Pizza. Yeah, so working there isn't exactly the most taxing or high profile position I can think of, but trust me - when you have to work on Sunday afternoon at the end of a week that's included no less than 20 hours in the pool, five hours in the gym, and a much-hated pilates class... it really sucks. Even moreso when you're on minimum wage and constantly smelling like melted cheese. Mmm.

My current set-up is working a little better: I get up around 5:30am for a 6am-8am workout, then come home for a bit of a nap before another workout over lunchtime, followed by a swim and tonnes and tonnes of stretching (I am so flexible. I love it.) I get to nap pretty well as much as I need, and since there's no uni or other crap to get in the way, if for whatever reason (and at 5:30am, there's usually a reason) I don't want to get up, I can postpone training for an hour and no-one gets hurt. I'm quite happy with that.

I'm determined to win my division at Worlds. Sounds like a big ask, I know... but come September, we'll see. In the past I may have left some parts of my races (earlier last season, I did zero bike training. And the bike is a pretty significant component of a triathlon) to chance, which is ridiculous. This time I will be doing no such thing. Everything will be perfect at 6:45am on September 12th, guys. You'll see.

Depending on how well you know me, you might be thinking "um, but aren't you anorexic?". Kind of. I guess the take-home point here is, if I cram an extra hour-long run in each day, I can probably eat sweet and sour pork for dinner and not have to worry about being fat the next day. Energy input / energy output. Happiness!

A bit of a warning: expect the posts in the coming months to be filled with complaints about how much I hate swimming / riding my bike / running. Ignore. None of this is true.

Over and out, yo.


YAY! So Triathlon NZ FINALLY got back to me yesterday and confirmed that I've made the team for World Championships in September.

Sooooo to that end... much more training is in the pipeline. I'M SO EXCITED!