Thursday, July 22, 2010


I generally believe this to be a true statement. Call it what you will, but I often think the world does not reward terrible acts.

So I wondered yesterday, when I arrived at the local pool for my training, what I had done to mankind? I wondered this when I found a new floater in the outdoor swim lane at my local pool.

Please imagine with me, if you can, an older gentlemen, maybe early 70's, khaki babeball hat on his head, large blue noodle between his legs and under his back as a floatation device, black speedo, floating back and forth in lane 2 of 2 lanes. Cute kids getting lessons in lane 1, and the "open swim" area empty.

"HA" I say to myself. Been down this road and don't want to do it again. I will ask the lifeguard whether it is more appropriate for man and noodle to leave the lane so I can use it... I have a swim cap on. I plan on getting my face in the water. I mean business.

Life guard, clearly not interested or sympathetic to my concern, cooly says "you can ask him if you want - but he just got there."

Not helpful young man. Not helpful at all.

Well, I don't have the guts to ask Senor speedo to move, or share, so I sheepishly swam in the open swim part, dodging small children who eventually decided swimming underneath me and in front of me was a fun game.

Again, tried to splash the noodle guy - to no avail. That must be why he brought the hat.

So what have I done to hurt the world? Did I kill too many bugs this week? Was I unkind to a stranger who called our office?

I am repentant. I am sorry. I am hopeful for brighter days and fewer men floating mid-lane. I will run tonight, and send blessings to those I pass. Perhaps I can make amends - and things will get better. Perhaps the greenways will be less crowded with people standing or walking at a snails pace mid lane.

Monday, July 19, 2010


When my brother was in High School in Tampa Florida (think hot, very hot), he had a week or two in mid-August where they had football practice, twice a day.

People threw up.
People ate spaghetti.
People threw up again.
People were miserable.
My brother quit football.

So when the triathlon book left by the triathlon fairy in our bathroom, suggested I start working out twice a day, starting like now, I decided it was a terrible idea.

Some people have to take medicine twice a day.

Some people watch Law & Order re runs twice a day.

I imagine some folks eat chips and salsa twice a day (YUM!)

But seriously. Work out twice a day? If we ever had to do that in my athletic past I have blocked it out as a painful memory.

But maybe the book is right. Since technically the race is 3 workouts in one day, in a row, without chips and salsa, perhaps I should do that.

So I will start, some combination of the following every week - which, by the sheer numbers, means more than 1 in a day:

Long run
Hard run
easy run
long swim
easy swim
Long Bike
bike / run - BRIC
easy bike

Yuck. I already don't love this - but like eating your vegetables and taking vitamins, it'll be good for me.

Will report of any throwing up or quitting that occurs. Will also report if spaghetti is involved because I like to eat.

7 weeks to go!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


When I look at a bridge or hill on foot or bike, I feel like the little engine that could.... "I think I can I think I can," I will whisper to myself. "I can run over this thing without walking. I can bike up this mountain. I can I can."

For the last few weeks, these challenges have thankfully become easier. Apparently your body can become stronger, your lungs more capable of aerobic exercise etc. So when I read in a Women's triathlon book yesterday that I needed to set an intention for my race, a goal, I became despondent.

My goal, Duh ( I revert to 4th grade vocabulary when despondent), is to finish this thing without walking. Isn't that enough?

Maybe it is... but maybe, I could do more.  Maybe I could actually enjoy this whole process. Maybe I could learn to like running and biking. Maybe swimming could again become a place to rest my mind and worries.

I ran 4.2 miles yesterday.
I saw a lovely Indian man in a crown.
I killed three bugs with my left eye.
I felt strong and able to run longer.
I smiled at people on the greenway.
I counted 7 trains filed with coal sitting in Roanoke.
I saw three lovely pregnant ladies exercising.
It took over 45 minutes.
I actually had fun.

Today (weather permitting) I will bike or swim outside. I will do my best not to complain, but to enjoy the new found strength in my legs and arms. I will enjoy pushing my body to new limits, and try to be gracious when it resists.

Yesterday was the 8 week mark - 2 months until race day. Can I keep training, gaining strength and enjoy this process?

"I think I can, I think I can."

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


For any of your high school theater nerds like me (and I know a few of you are out there), what do you think of when I say "SUNRISE?"

I hope you think of "SUNSET." After all, we have all either been in or enjoyed more than one performance of Fiddler on the Roof.

That being said (and here is a link to a classic version of the song

I will no longer think of Sunrise... and Sunset.

I will think of SUNRISE - and snot.

A lesson learned today:

When one rides their bike shortly after the sun is up, and one is not used to such activity and that hour, or the speed of a bike when the weather is cool, snot happens.

Alot of it. It's gross. And I think, that is why bike gloves are recommended and used by professionals.

I also think I should have been prepared for this but sadly wa snot. Get it?

Even in the pool there are ways to gracefully take care of the "snot issue."
Runners also have their ways. But Bikers? How do they do it.

You sort of need your hands on the bike... and sudden head movements, jerks etc., are not encouraged. So how does one truly handle the issue?

I needed advice so I looked online, duh. And I am NOT, I repeat, NOT the first person to have this problem. There are blogs and blogs written about it. Numerous bits of helpful advice.

My favorite, written by, even calculates the amount of snot produced over his lifetime of riding. He, by the way, uses the glove and wipe on the shorts technique.

I am looking into alternatives, but for now think I need to get something to wear around my neck, like a little cloth I can use to help... or wipe the tears away when my legs burn so much I can't peddle any more.

I realize the easiest solution would be to not ride at sunrise, but basically that means I wouldn't be riding at all and that makes for bad training when over 2/3 of this competition will be spent on a bike.

So, back to work. I will keep you posted on my research and riding and let you know how the snot issue turns out.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Pop quiz regarding triathlon training in the Florida Keys:

What lives in the ocean (Gulf of Mexico / Atlantic)?
a. crabs
b. sting rays
c. fishes
d. barracuda

ANSWER: all of the above

What did I see during my open water swims this week in the Gulf of Mexico?
a. crabs
b. sting rays
c. fishes
d. barracuda

ANSWER: A, C & D, sort of (they were nearby)

What did my brother see during his float around the ocean and have fun swim?
a. crabs
b. sting rays
c. fishes
d. barracuda


What landed on my shoulder when I stopped to catch my breath mid-swim in the ocean?
a. crabs
b. sting rays
c. fishes
d. barracuda

ANSWER: A, and he did not look happy

What made me swim very fast during these open water swims?
a. crabs
b. sting rays
c. fishes
d. barracuda

ANSWER: The crab that landed on my shoulder

What do I hope is not in the James River when I swim there in September 2010 during the Patriot Triathlon?
a. crabs
b. sting rays
c. fishes
d. barracuda

ANSWER: All of the above
It was a fun few days swimming in the keys, fighting the current, swinging my arms against salty waves of green water. I had to learn the rhythm of ocean swimming and breathing, to not be alarmed by the saltiness of the water or the murky bottom below. Just kick, stroke, breathe - repeat. Oh, and scream when you realize a small spotted crab is sitting on your shoulder extending his pinchers towards your earlobes.