30-Day Ironman Challenge

Since I have no race or training plans, I'm going to do a 30-Day Ironman Challenge in April with some other friends. It is exactly what it sounds like - complete the total distance of an Ironman over 30 days. Since my test is the 8 & 9, and I will be travelling to Boston from the 15-19, I'll actually be doing it in closer to 20 days.

When you look at each distance, it's really not that bad. But for someone who has barely been working out, I thought it'd be a good way to ease back into working out. Hopefully it will also inspire me to find a race to sign up for too. My biggest problem - finding a pool.

  • Swim - 3900 m or 4250 yd

  • Bike - 112 miles

  • Run - 26.2 miles

I'll try to post my totals through out the month. Anyone else interested?


Hitting the Books

It's been a long time since I spent the weekend wearing the same clothes, but I realized today that I hadn't actually changed my clothes from the day before. I also have eaten lunch at my desk at work for the last 13 days in a row. I swear I will stop complaining about this exam. But I finally had all of my materials in one place and it does make an impressive pile.

The stack to the right is the mandatory codes and specifications required to take the exam. The bottom three binders are the bridge code, which weighs 16 lb alone. It's open book, so you can bring any reference materials in you want. The pile to the left is my personal arsenal of reference material and text books. No loose paper allowed. No blank paper allowed. No sticky notes allowed. I thought I did pretty good. I've heard stories of people takes suitcases and dollies full of books and references. I've also been told if you need that many books, there's no way you'll pass the test. I have so many numbers and Greek letters swimming around in my head I can barely remember my own name. What's the equation for stress in an element subjected to combined axial and flexural loading? P/A +/- Mc/I. What's the equation for maximum deflection of a uniformly loaded beam? D = (5wl^4)/384EI. What did I have for breakfast? I couldn't tell you. But that's not going to be on the test, so I'm not worried about it.


Pink and Done!

This weekend was Kelly's party and it was easy to spot with all the pink-haired people milling around. I had no idea that anyone else went pink. The total raised from Bald for a Cause was $2140 and the total for the whole night was over $4000!

Kelly went first, but went with the super-classy "skullet": male-pattern baldness on top, long hair in back.
There were several people that went bald that night. As promised, I also went under the shears.

I decided to take a unique situation and go with a unique haircut.

That's a pink mohawk! I've had a lot of comments, one high five, and a few random strangers take pictures of me with their cell phone camera.

Later, Kelly shaved it all off.

I love this girl. As if the mohawk didn't already say that.

Shelley (the one with hair) sold her AWESOME granola and for the last month, she donated $3 from every bag and she made over $200! That is a lot of freaking granola!

Then there was this random guy in the bar. He and his family were so moved by all the people with pink and shaved heads that they donated money and he even got a mohawk!

Here's a fairly odd couple. John came straight from a school function, still in his suit.

Here's Kelly attacking, I mean hugging John. Don't let him fool you, he liked it.

Here's the pile of hair at the end of the night. Gives a new meaning to "Locks of Love."

All the bald people at the end of the night.

Kelly helped me finish off the mohawk on Monday. First to go: the long pink locks. This is not my favorite look.

And it's all gone. It's going to take a little getting used to, but at least it doesn't take me as long to get ready as it used to.



Overwhelm: verb, to subject to incapacitating emotional or mental stress. See Sam K.


Pink! (Good Girlfriends are Good for the Soul)

My friend Shelley said it best when she said the night we dyed my hair was good for the soul.
(I'm a classy broad, what can I say? I was told to wrap my bleaching hair in a plastic bag, and a Wal-Mart bag was the best option. I don't think I need to explain why I have a glass of white and a bottle of red in my hands. The "unicorn" touch was all Kelly.)

This was a group effort, too. And I'm glad! I would have ended up with spots and streaks and probably would have burned my scalp even more than I did!

This whole thing has been an experience. On Thursday, I had a structural engineering conference to attend and if you want to stand out at an engineering conference, show up with pink hair and in high heels. One thing I didn't really think about is all the attention that comes with pink hair and it has been a little overwhelming. I bought a few more hats to have on hand so I can at least try to blend in. So far there has only been one parent who tried to shield their children from me. I thought that was funny.

I will admit that I've learned a lot from this. When this whole thing started, Kelly and I joked around about wig shopping and I really thought that wigs weren't really necessary. They're hot and itchy, and what person is going to make comments about a bald woman? But I think I get it now. It's not about how you look, really. It's more about just blending in. You don't get to blend in when you're bald. While people may not say anything, the lingering stares say enough. The last two days I have been very uncomfortable, to be perfectly honest. I can't imagine going through chemo, feeling like garbage, and knowing everyone is staring. So now I hope Kelly does get a nice wig and a proper fitting.

Pink! As of today, we have $1265 and it's not all in yet! There were two engineers at the conference that want to donate and my bosses still have promised my a check. How absolutely amazing.
That was one of the most fun nights I've had in a long time, and not just because of the fumes. A friend commented that the smile on Kelly's face would have been worth the pink dye, even if there was no donation involved and I couldn't agree more. (Insert collective "Awww" here) I hope you're feeling OK today, Kelly.