An Incomplete List of the Things Root loves about Shaw
- her ass - when she smiles at Root’s terrible flirting. she knows Shaw doesn’t mean to smile, and she generally returns to her grumpy exterior soon after, but somehow that just makes it better - when she pulls at her beanie in that cute self-conscious way - when she eats. there is a form of art in the way Shaw concentrates on her food, and Root is often too distracted watching her devour her meal to eat her own - speaking of art, sometimes Shaw paints, and once in a while she even allows Root to watch. Root finds it mesmerizing to watch her make each careful stroke of the brush (and not just because it gives her a great view of Shaw’s arm muscles) - when she gets giddy about a new gun - that she is five feet and three inches of compact molten rage - that when Root is in hyperfocus-mode with a number or research or something and she forgets to eat or sleep, Shaw makes sure she is taking care of herself - that she always inexplicably knows when Root is running low on black nail polish and gets her a replacement bottle - when she tries to justify her signs of affection with ~doing it for the mission~ or whatever, even when it is completely absurd like: “oh you’re proposing to me Sameen? you must really love me” “it’s to protect our covers Root, shut up” like please - when they are on her motorcycle and Shaw’s hands are on her hips and she can’t help how her heart soars and her entire body feels alive with electricity. it might just be Root’s favorite feeling in the entire world - that even when it is sub-zero Fahrenheit and they are on a stakeout in a parked car, somehow she is always an Actual Space Heater. sometimes Root makes jokes about Shaw being so hot that her body just can’t handle it and Shaw does the beanie thing in response - when she teaches Root combat moves and it makes her feel strong - that she never ever ever calls her Samantha Groves ever - when she makes puns (ie “oh there was plenty of sucking”) - that even if she doesn’t say “I love you”, she has ways of showing it in ways that make her comfortable - her muscles. even though Root is much taller than her, Shaw can easily lift her up and carry her across a threshold if she would be so inclined - that when she has nightmares and wakes Shaw up in the middle of the night, she isn’t mad. instead, she lulls Root back to sleep by running her fingers through her hair and reminding her that she is safe - when she beats up bad guys IT’S HOT OKAY - the moments when her volume is turned up that one time Shaw biked to New Jersey!!! for her - everything. Root loves everything single thing about her right down to the Axis II Personality Disorder. Shaw is perfectly imperfect, in a way that no other human ever will be
I finished reading Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen, and then I noticed that Mike had the New Jersey Marathon on his race calendar for April 30th. I hadn’t planned on doing a spring marathon, instead focusing on rowing and triathlon, but I just couldn’t resist. The timing also works- I’ve got a full 16 weeks until the race and then will have all of May, June and July to concentrate on rowing and triathlon.
So back to marathon training! The New Orleans Half Marathon will fit nicely into the schedule. Biking on the trainer has been going fine and I’m loving Pilates. But my house is dirty and the Christmas tree is still up. Priorities!
Attacking over the penultimate climb and charging through the final corners, Peter Sagan held off the peloton to win the 2015 UCI World Road Championships in Richmond, Virginia this September. To celebrate the Slovak’s performance and his upcoming year in the rainbow jersey, Specialized created a custom bike for Sagan. His S-Works Tarmac’s new paint job showcases the rainbow colors, camouflage, and includes a gold head badge. The design also features the names of all of the previous world champions on the down tube. Finally, the paint includes elements of Slovakia’s flag as a nod to Sagan’s nationality and heritage. “I didn’t want to be creatively limited by adhering rigidly to the traditional rainbow stripes, so avoiding them was a definite design choice for me,” explained Ron Jones, lead road designer at Specialized. “I choose a black and rainbow base over a more traditional white, and my goal was for this to be disruptive — kind of like Sagan’s personality and style is.” After viewing the custom bike for the first time, Peter Sagan said, “I really like this bike. I am really satisfied to able to ride it next year together with the rainbow jersey. I’ll have a lot of responsibilities, but I am ready for the challenge.” Sagan will debut his bike and rainbow jersey at the Abu Dhabi Tour, which starts Thursday.
The run from the swim to T1 wasn’t exactly short, I believe
I heard it was 300 yards, but I loved it. The fan support at Lake Placid is
second to none. Between the swim and bag area I saw my immediate family, best
friends, a friend who attended the training camp with me last year, Mandy, and
the two coaches who ran the training camp, Jeff and Sherri-Anne. Needless to
say, they were all elated to see me out of the water. After I passed them, I grabbed my bike bag,
ran to the changing tent, and the first volunteer I saw was my tri-team teammate
James! He grabbed my bag from me, took all my gear out while I was pulling my
wetsuit off, may or may not have seen my bare white ass while I was changing
from my swim shorts to bike shorts (I warned him, but honestly that whole tent
was a sausage party), helped me gear up for the ride, and before I knew it I
was on my way out of the tent. I got some sunscreen from a volunteer and immediately realized it wasn’t enough. Oh well, that was my first lesson
learned. I rounded part of the oval, entered the grassy area where Catalina was
napping, a volunteer yelled out my number over a megaphone, and by the time I
got to my rack a volunteer was waiting for me with my bike! The volunteer
complimented my bike, joked with me that she debated taking a piece of my
PB&J because it looked good, and off I went! There were very few bikes left
in transition, because I’m such an awesome swimmer, so I had all of the volunteers
cheering for me. Perk of being a slow! Either way, I approached the mount line,
inhaled one of my Clif bars, and prepared myself for the fun part, the 112 mile
Once I got out onto the bike course I had a feeling like no
other. I did not feel like I just swam for almost two hours. I felt fresh. I
felt ready to kick it up a notch. I felt ready to fuck shit up!
The easiest way to describe the first loop of the ride? Fun!
Right out of the gate I was picking people off. I had a year’s worth of pent up
energy in my legs, ready to hit the hills of the Lake Placid Ironman course! I
cruised up the long climb out of LP, passing those who looked to be struggling
already (this kinda worried me; not for myself, but for them), hammered the
rollers until the Keene descent, and then bombed down the hill, with a top
speed of 47 mph! I stayed in my larger chain ring for the majority of the first
loop, cruising in and out of the aero position, taking in the beautiful scenery
along the way. I stopped at each aid station, chatted up the volunteers (I
wasn’t going to win the race, so I was going to enjoy my day!), and kept it
Random note: At one point on the racecourse, somewhere
between the Keene descent and the Ausable out-and-back, there were kamikaze
chickens. Yes, you read that right, Kamikaze chickens. As I approached them,
going roughly 25mph, I was baffled. There was a guy in a lawn chair in the
grass, to the right of them, who didn’t seem to care. I figured they’d run to
the grass as I approached. Nope! They just kept doing their chicken thang in
the road. “Getting plowed by a carbon fiber road bike” would’ve never been my
thought for the answer to “why did the chicken cross the road?”
To be completely honest, I barely looked at my Garmin during
the first loop, only to see how close I was to my next snack. I was just
enjoying the ride, smiling as often as I could!
I did my thing on the Ausable out-and-back, climbed out to
Wilmington, took in more gorgeous sights, cruised through the Hazelton
out-and-back, and made my way back to Lake Placid. At this point there’s only
15 miles left in the first loop of the bike course, but it’s where you’ll find
out who actually trained hills. See course description below.
For me, miles 40-56 were fun. At one point a motorcycle with
flashing lights passed me and I knew who followed. It was
Heather-Fucking-Jackson tearing the course up! She was already on her second
lap of the bike course, heading back to LP to start the marathon, while I was
heading back to start my second bike loop! As she passed me I yelled out
“HEATHER, YOU’RE FUCKING AWESOME!!!” and she looked over and smiled! It took so
much control not to pick up my pace and hammer the hill with her, but I held
back and raced my race.
Before I knew it, I was approaching “The Bears,” at mile 54.
The bears consist of 3 “hills”, (I use this term loosely, because Quassy skewed
my definition of what a hill actually was. See: Hell) and are appropriately
named Momma Bear, Baby Bear, and Papa Bear. I made easy work of Momma and Baby,
with Poppa looming ahead. From a distance, Poppa seems a little daunting, but
with the crowd lining both sides of the road, I made Poppa my bitch. I hit the
bottom of the hill with a head of steam and flew straight up it, giving the
energy back to the huge crowd as I got to the top. It was amazing! I made the
turn at the top and knew I was halfway home on the bike course. I cruised along Mirror Lake while taking in the
atmosphere and energy from the crowds.
I scanned the crowds as I approached, hoping to see my
family, and I started to think I missed them. It wasn’t until I was approaching
special needs that I saw them!! And, on cue, there was Jess!
I acknowledged them, waved, and headed to special needs. I
grabbed my new PB&J sandwich, my slushee pedialyte (it didn’t completely
thaw, but it was enough fluid/slush to fill most of my bottle), and grabbed my
spare Clif bars. It felt like flawless preparation on my part. After a minute
or five I was on my way. I rode around Main Street, past the Olympic oval, down
around the back of the high school (where the split for T2 and the second lap
is), and started my second lap.
I made my way out of Lake Placid, again, but this time
runners accompanied me! It was humbling seeing how fast they were!
Unfortunately, my excitement was short lived, because roughly 3 miles into the
second loop I started to cramp severely in both of my medial quads. My left quad
started to cramp first, and then my right, with the pedialyte saving the day in
between cramps, but I was burning through it entirely too fast. I spaced my
first bottle of pedialyte across the whole first 56-mile loop, but I was damn
near empty with my second bottle as I approached the mile 72 aid station. It
was getting bad. I desperately needed salt. In came my savior! I stopped at the
aid station and asked the first person I saw if they had salt tablets. She
looked at me and said “No, and I have no idea why not!” She then thought to
herself and ran over to me and asked, “If I can get you some potato chips,
would that help?” I immediately lit up and said, “That’d be AMAZING!” She ran
off to the snack section designated strictly for the volunteers and grabbed a
couple bags of regular Lays potato chips for me! She opened one, handed it to
me, opened the second one, rolled up the top, and stuck it in my bike jersey! I
inhaled most of the bag and probably thanked her ten times for saving my ass.
She didn’t have to do that, but she did.
I can’t say enough about the volunteers out on the bike
course. They made me feel like this was MY race. Whether it was running to get
snacks and bottles of hydration for me, holding my bike while I ran into the
port-o-potty, or covering me with sunscreen from head to toe, they were the
Miles 73-110 were similar to the first loop, except a little
bit slower due to the heat and the obvious fatigue. I stopped eating towards
the end of the ride, even though I knew I had to. After 7 hours, I just didn’t
have it in me to eat any more PB&J. I conquered The Bears one more time and
knew I was done with the bike course. I cruised towards Lake Placid, except now
there were A LOT more people on the run course! It was MOBBED! It looked so
awesome to see so many people out there! We shared the road as I cruised down
Mirror Lake Drive. I saw my friend Carl for the first time of the day; he was
already killing it at mile 11 on the run! He saw me approaching, yelled to me,
and seemed so pumped that I was about to finish the bike, knowing I actually
made it out of the water before the cutoff that morning. It felt great! I made
my way down through Lake Placid, spotted my friends, Steve and Heather, as I
was rounding onto Main Street, gave a Lance Armstrong-esque fist pump as they
cheered, and made my way around the back of the High School to finish my ride.
I was done with the 112-mile ride. 7 hours and 43 minutes.
A volunteer awaited at the dismount line for Catalina; so I
hopped off, grabbed my Garmin, and watched as she was escorted away to
transition after owning the shit out of that course. I hit the lap button on my
Garmin, crossed the Bike Entrance arch and I was officially on my way to T2!
For some reason, as soon as I got off the bike I started to
run. There was no reason to run, and running in bike shoes is pretty dumb, but
I was so pumped to be done with the 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike ride.
I grabbed my run bag from my rack, ran into T2, and to my
surprise James was working the tent again! He grabbed my stuff, unloaded my run
bag as I took my bike gear off, and helped me get ready for the run. He assured
me that I came in with plenty of time to spare before the bike cutoff, and that
I had roughly 7 hours to finish the marathon. That excited me, but I realized I
still had to finish a fucking MARATHON in order to be called an Ironman. I did
a triple check of my gear, got coated in sunscreen by a volunteer outside of
the tent, and hit the lap button on my Garmin.