Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Typos, pool etiquette and why guys should have short hair.

As I was looking over past blog entries, I realized there was a “per” where there should be a “pro.” (As in prospective.) Argh. It has been corrected. How I can consider myself a writer and constantly misuse and make up words makes no sense. (Or since.) However, if you do it with enough confidence, most people won’t question you – at least not to your face.

My favorite time of year is here – outdoor pool time. The dome came off at Roeland Park last week and practices have a whole new feel. Part of it is the switch from yards to meters, which doesn’t seem like much, but my triceps beg to differ. Especially when swimming long course meters, like last Saturday. As I stared at the black line below me, one thought repeated itself. Where. Is. The. Freaking. Wall.

Saturday also included a confrontation with a grumpy old man in my lane. I’ll spare you the details, but all you need to know is that I was right. What I was the most proud of was when he said I should move to a faster lane, I swam right past him. Yep. Made my point. Who was he to tell me to move? Why couldn’t he move to the slower lane?

And then reality hit me. I will never be an Olympic swimmer, so was this really that important? After the set I moved to a lane by myself to finish the workout. But I stood my ground for the main set, proving that I refuse to miss my interval. Take that, Mr. Grouch.

Remember when I mentioned there’s not much excitement in my life to blog about? Now you understand.

Oh wait. I do have one funny story that is non-triathlon related. Last week, Boyfriend and I went to Lulu’s for dinner. We were eyeing the entrĂ©es of the people in the next booth, one of who’s back was to us. So I asked the waitress what she had ordered. And the waitress pointed to the girl facing me. And I say, “No – her” indicating the girl who was facing away.

Except it wasn’t a girl; it was a dude. With long, flowing hair. The waitress did her best to cover, but I was loud and rather insistent. Sadly, I didn’t realize my mistake until 30 minutes later when I gasped to Boyfriend, “Holy smokes, that’s not a girl!” He smiles. “You knew that was a guy?” I ask. “Yeah, but I didn’t want to make you feel bad,” he responded. Perfect response, since I felt like a complete idiot.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Picture Says It All

The first whole week of training is on the books. Totals ended up being:

Swim: 3:45 hrs. (11,700 yds)

Bike: 3:20 hrs.

Run: 2:20 hrs.

Weights: 1:30 hrs.

Yardwork: 2 hrs. (Okay, that doesn’t count. Just so proud I finally did it, wanted it recorded somewhere.)

I’m tired. My calves are sore. My back is sunburned. A new callous is forming on my foot. Basically, I’m a pig in shit.

While these numbers aren’t anything exceptional, the difference between training with purpose and exercising is wider than I remember. Case and point – a speed workout at the track yesterday. The word “lumber” comes to mind. Trying to sprint 200s left me holding my knees and gasping, trying not to puke in front of the young football players. Transitioning from endurance to speed will be harder than originally thought.

I’m also eating everything but my shoes. Stale crackers? No problem. Ice cream with a protective ice cap? Just dig underneath. It’s edible. I’m trying to make healthy choices, but 30 percent of the time it’s whatever’s closest to the front of the fridge.

And finally, I will admit what I’ve been avoiding. I bought a pair of feet shoes. They are the ugliest things ever put on my feet. A decade of bad knees drove me to this choice. It’s part of the barefoot running craze. I made it .9 miles (you read that right, not even a mile) before screaming calves forced me to halt. But my legs and knees felt remarkably good. So it will be a slow conversion, partially due to pain, mostly due to vanity.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Do I Know You?

In my effort to blog more consistently, a new problem has developed. That being, my life is not all that interesting for daily updates.

When blogging every three months, that was plenty of time to gather a funny or interesting perspective and share it with my three readers. But the pressure of providing something funny everyday? I’m just not that good. Therefore, entries will be more a running commentary on everyday occurrences. Riveting, I know.

So as I lament personal details of my life across the interwebs (nod to you, BF), yesterday was the first time I wished for the pre-Facebook, myspace, google-a-prospective-date days.

Last night, I met Boyfriend and company at a midtown bar. Upon joining them, the server came by to take my order. After making eye contact, I realized we had gone to high school together and though not close friends, had run in the same crowd. Sally (not her name, but pseudonyms are cool) and I did the double take and half hug that often follow not seeing someone in 19 years.

Her first comment was that she wouldn’t have recognized me except I looked just like my Facebook picture. And the same was true for her. Except I knew that her daughter was graduating high school this weekend and had been a cheerleader. I knew she still lived north of the river and various other details that were previously only known by friends that actually kept in touch. And she could know equally as many details of my life.

So there’s the weirdness. I encounter someone not seen in two decades, but still know her life details. Are we out of touch or not? Are we friends or merely voyeurs living an actual “I Know What You Did Last Summer?” And last Thanksgiving. And Christmas. And even two weeks ago Thursday.

My second experience was at lunch yesterday. As I ordered at the deli counter, I noticed a girl standing by me who is the now girlfriend of my old high school boyfriend. Not that I know her; I’ve seen her on his FB page. But the fact I recognize her just supports my theory that all women are slightly interested in what the ex’s current significant other looks like. Doesn’t matter how long ago it was.

But the disconcerting part is she whispered something to her friend who then said “The one right behind me?” Which was I. Maybe I’m just paranoid. Scratch that. I’m definitely paranoid. But was she referring to me as HSBF’s old girlfriend? Maybe. Maybe not. Doubtful I’ll ever know.

But I do know one thing – I miss a little anonymity.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tri Toys

Half the reason for racing triathlons is the gear you have to buy. (The exception being lycra shorts.) Dri-fit, polarized, carbon, compression items that you absolutely can’t live without and are never on sale.

I’m a sucker for the toys. Especially when starting out in the sport a decade ago. Computrainer? Check. Treadmill? Check. Powercranks? Don’t ask. But check.

My Softride Rocket TT (bought when I got a lottery entry to Hawaii) was an especially indulgent purchase in 2001, mostly because I was far too slow to deserve such a pricey bike. But also because beam bikes were a short-lived trend that soon went the way of 650 wheels. It had 650s, too – double whammy. Live and learn and then get a Felt B2. It hides the shame.

Because I’m fairly set as far as gear goes, not much needed to be purchased for this season – hurrah! One exception was a Garmin. Last night was my first run with the 110, a smaller, lower-tech model with heart rate monitor. It was freaking fantastic. How did I go so long without one? I checked the thing so often I’m amazed I didn’t face plant. Its name is Gigi.

On a sad technology note, my Ipod Shuffle has disappeared. Hopefully not stolen, as who would want all my bad 80s music? Not sure how long I can hold out with no music while running. Maybe an excuse to get a new one. See? More gear.

My workouts have been good this week. Of course, it’s only Wednesday. There’s still plenty of time to oversleep and miss a few.

Weekly stats through today:

Weights: 1 hr.

Swim: 2:30/7,900 yds

Run: :30

Bike: zilch

Monday, May 17, 2010

New coach

I’m not talking about the purse. Though I could have bought a nice one with the money I spent. Instead I hired one. Because holding myself accountable only to me is not working, so now Coach K bears the burden.

Maybe you think the tide has turned and I’m doing Wisconsin. But, alas, that is not the case, because at the age of 37 I’ve come to accept reality. And that reality is I suck at long distance. It only took a decade to figure that out.

Instead the focus will be on short-course, which is far less sexy than an Ironman. But I’m okay with that. Ironman is like the burn-your-face-off hot wings. They both involve a fair amount of discomfort, looks of disbelief from others and both result in a pain in the ass the next day.

Don’t misunderstand. Finishing an Ironman is amazing and the closest most people will come to feeling like a rock star. It’s the icing on the cake after months of training and perpetually sore hamstrings. I have the highest respect for triathletes that race IM year after year.

But it’s not for me. At least not this year.

So I’ve set my sights on qualifying for USAT Nationals in September. It’s an Olympic distance, which is my favorite. Long enough to reward myself with Nutella, short enough to be mobile the next day. A win-win.

I’m excited to work with Coach K. My training plan for the first week arrived today and it looks promising. No workouts longer than 1.5 hours. Excellent. And it came with free swag. I'm a sucker for swag.

So now I can actually start blogging about what my screen name references. Try to contain your excitement.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Freakin' Flowers

I have a love/hate relationship with my yard. While I love owning a little piece of the planet, I hate maintaining it. And let’s be honest, Citimortgage owns the majority of my yard. But they don’t offer to help, so it falls to me.

Last night was the first adventure in landscaping for 2010. While I rake leaves year-round (damn oak tree), my neighbors are ahead of me in the pretty-it-up phase. Fortunately the previous owner had no problem getting her hands dirty and planting all sorts of things that need constant attention. Including daffodils.

I love daffodils. When they’re in bloom. Afterwards they look sloppy all bent over and covering the walkway. So in my OCD-ness, I fold them into thirds and tie twine around them. It looks much neater that way. And also strange, judging from the looks the neighbors gave me.

Then I started trimming up all the shrubs, annuals and bushes that are already starting to look jungle-like. FYI – if you’ve never had the pleasure of trimming hedges, it is hard. Last year my landscaping ended up scalped in my overzealousness. Like over-plucking eyebrows, once you get going it’s hard to stop.

Next up are flowers – the only part of yard work I actually enjoy. So I pulled the pots out of the garage and placed them strategically around the front yard and porch. No pots are in the back yard because no one would see them and since I’m all about appearances, that would be a waste of time.

Then I went inside and made a frozen pizza because tying 200 daffodils is tiring and the Lowe’s nursery will be open tonight, too.

And yes, I’m counting this as a workout.