The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Swim Bike Run DONE!

It was a challenge, mentally and physically, but I did it! After 21 years, I am a triathlete once again.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Weather report

Tomorrow is my triathlon (the race is scheduled for 9-11 am).
This is the weather report:

Scattered thunderstorms in the morning, then strong thunderstorms likely during the afternoon. Storms may produce large hail and strong winds. High 78F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%.

This could be interesting!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Batavian Taper

I have mentioned previously that as an employee of the State University of New York, I get to travel to various campuses across NY for assorted meetings. So here I am in Batavia (I had friends and family believing that Batavia is a small town in Bulgaria). In order to get here, I had to fly to Rochester, rent a toy car (Kia Rio), and drive 30 miles toward Buffalo. I had the option of spending 2 nights in the Genessee Community College dormitory, but opted for the Days Inn. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the hotel has wireless.

I did bring a pair of sneakers and the college does have a decent fitness center, so I may jump on the treadmill, but I'm pretty much "tapering" for the triathlon on Saturday. Not that I was swimming, biking or running huge mileage from which I need to taper, but it sounds good. Mostly I'm just doing the academic thing, listening to people talk and eating. I did bring my little Canon and I have been taking pictures around Batavia. So that's keeping me on my toes-- you never know when the perfect Batavian photo-op is going to strike! Like having lunch in the physical therapy lab and finding an entire table of little skeletons that have been decorated. Having discovered that you can make little slideshow movies with iMovie, I can't resist including Batavian Taper, a photo blog.

Soundtrack by John Mellencamp, Small Town

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yankee Stadium

Yesterday we went to Yankee Stadium to see the Yanks battle the Seattle Mariners. Since this is the last season that the Yankees will be playing in the "old" Yankee Stadium, I brought my camera and tried to capture the feeling of a trip to the ballpark. Here is a slideshow of my efforts.

Soundtrack by Jimmy Cliff, The Harder They Come

Slaying Demons

Today was the perfect day for almost anything, especially killing off swimming demons. DH and I went to visit my aunt who still has a summer bungalow on a lake. My family had a summer home for many years here, and I spent the first 18 summers of my life in, on, and around this lake. I even worked as a lifeguard at the camp across the lake for 2 years! So it is a very familiar and very comfortable place. We brought a little inflatable boat, and first he rowed while I swam, and then we switched. The water was still very cold, probably about the same as last week. But this time I stood waist high in the water for a few minutes, and went in nice and easy. The first 3 minutes or so were a little uncomfortable (cold, difficult to get into a rhythm), but then I got more comfortable. I swam out for 10 minutes and turned around. On the way back I actually started feeling pretty good! My ears were feeling cold, but the rest of me was OK, even my arms. I'm not sure how far I swam, but it was more than 1/3 mile. DH was equally successful. Mission accomplished. Begone Evil Open Water Swimming Demons!!

Today was probably one of the most beautiful days of the year-- not a cloud in the sky, temp in the low 70s. So I brought my bike up to the lake, and after visiting with my aunt for a little while, I rode Lew's Flat 15. It's actually 16 miles, but Flat 15 sounds better than Flat 16. I rode it hard and fast (for me). It felt good.

Tomorrow's agenda: ride with the club, barbecue with friends. I could get used to this!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Cold Water Freak Out

This morning I met 3 other triathletes for an open water swim at a nearby pond. We all had wetsuits we had never worn and we are all registered for races in 2 weeks. I'm glad we did it-- but I did not have a very successful swim.

It rained most of the day yesterday, and overnight it was coming down hard. But the morning was bright and sunny, just a little cool-- it was only 53 degrees when we were suited up and ready to go. Even with the wetsuit, that water was COLD. My wetsuit is sleeveless and my arms were really cold. As soon as I hit the water, I felt like my heart rate went sky high and I couldn't find my breath. I could not get any kind of rhythm going. I couldn't calm myself down to get control, and that feeling of not having control made it worse. I'm not sure how long I tried (not very long) or how far I had gotten (not very far) before I decided to turn around. We had someone rowing a little boat and she followed me back to the dock and then turned around to catch up with my 3 friends. They all swam across the pond and back.

So I have next weekend to conquer the swimming demon. Suprisingly, I am not all worried about this. It would have been a real problem if I hadn't done this before the race. But now that I know what to expect, I think I will be able to handle it. I'm already formulating a plan for next weekend, when I will be swimming in the lake where my family had a summer home for years and years.

Today I realized that triathlons are not just swimming, biking and running, they are also a mind game, and your mind can shut you down in a flash.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Peace On Your Path

I had dinner with a bunch of ladies to celebrate J’s new job and her birthday. The ladies present were an expanded version of the “Book Club that Doesn’t Read the Book.” They would pick a book, not read it, but then spend hours talking about life in general (sex, boyfriends, sex, lovers, sex, husbands, sex). It’s all about supporting each other and the stories. In fact, one of the ladies is the designated “Keeper of the Stories.” There may be a book, and after one evening, I can see that she has a lot of material to work with!

  • Going to a bar mitzvah service (to which you have not been invited) to see how your lover and his wife interact—is the magic really gone? (I have definitely seen this episode of Sex and the City). Having fat wife sit directly behind you and greet you with “Shabbat Shalom.”
  • Getting fired because you used your boss’ credit card to pay for a hotel room for some nookie with your lover, then having to intercept FedEx delivery of severance agreement (which very clearly states the reason you are being canned) and substitute a forged copy which has very carefully been prepared on stolen company letterhead so your husband doesn’t find out.
  • Being told by your physician that the reason you have a puffy face, a black eye, and blood all over your pillow is because you probably smashed into a wall while sleepwalking after taking Ambien.

The winning story belongs to L, who made a trip to Europe with a dear friend. Before leaving, her boyfriend gave her a beautifully wrapped gift and told her not to open it until she got to her destination and had some quiet time. When she got to Berlin and opened the package, she found a small box of cheap chocolates (the type you can buy at the check-out counter at CVS) and an envelope. On the envelope was written, “Make this the best trip of your life.” Inside was a typed letter, beginning with “I am breaking up with you.” She spent the next week traveling through Germany sharing the letter with every tourist she met along the way, and took pictures of each of them holding the letter. Most agreed it was the most demented and self-serving bullshit they had ever read. The letter’s signature line was “Peace on your path.”

Today I couldn't resist. I signed one of my emails, “Peace on your path, Shelly."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Dark Side

Google "benefits exercise" and you will get over 5 million hits! But google "disadvantages exercise and you only get 460,000 hits. The fit life does have its dark side, and it should not be ignored. So here it is: the Top Ten Disadvantages of a Healthy Lifestyle.
  1. Excessive laundry. When DH and I were sick for a week, I only had half as much laundry. Working out increases the amount of laundry by close to 100%. That's alot of clothes to fold and put away! As a corollary, somewhere between entering the washing machine and exiting the dryer, socks seem to be running away, perhaps to a singles sock hop in a secret location. I sure as hell can't figure out where all the missing socks have gone!
  2. Helmet hair, goggle eyes and ugly toe syndrome. Need I say more?
  3. Too many T-shirts and water bottles. Not only do they accumulate from various races and events, but athletic type people have some kind of force field surrounding them that attracts T-shirts and water bottles. "Oh, I can wear that shirt working out." "Sure, I'll take it, I can sleep in it even if it's size triple XL." "I like this water bottle because I can fit ice cubes in it." In my house, we even have a T-Shirt Hall of Fame (I'm not kidding). Sometimes we just can't get rid of a favorite shirt, even if it's full of holes and doesn't fit.
  4. Lopsided shoulders from always carrying at least 1 extra bag. Gym bag, lunch bag, change of clothes. Even if you're just carrying it to your car, when was the last time you left the house with only 1 bag?
  5. You are either too lazy or just don't have the time to change the playlists on your iPod. You are stuck in a musical rut. And you are bored with it but you still don't get around to changing it.
  6. You are obsessed with numbers-- heart rate, mileage, speed, cadence, calories, laps. The need to remember and contemplate the meaning of all these numbers leaves less room in your brain for other information, like your dental appointment and the need to buy food.
  7. Hair removal-- you have to be more diligent. You can't let it slide, even in the winter.
  8. All your towels end up as gym towels. No matter how many towels you buy, no matter what color, you never have nice clean towels for your guests.
  9. Catalogs seem to be breeding in your mailbox. Most of these companies also send you daily emails to remind you of free shipping for the rest of your life, 10% off of everything you don't need and closeouts on ugly apparel. As a result, your recycling bins (both real and virtual) are overflowing.
  10. Maintaining good vision is a full-time job, between glasses, contact lenses, goggles, sunglasses, protective eyewear, reading glasses, putting them in, taking them off, keeping them on, prescription this, and non-prescription that. You need a flow chart to keep track of all the options. Lose 1 item in your visual system and you are screwed.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Butt Buster

Are you tired of your flabby ass? Or maybe your ass is MIA. Either way, you can have a better bootie. All you need is this new exciting technology-- The Butt Buster.

Before using The Butt Buster, I highly recommend that you put on some appropriate work out clothes and fill up your XL water bottle. You might want to prepare a peanut butter and jelly sandwich because building a better bootie is hard work. You are going to get hungry, so be prepared. Sneakers are usually sufficient, but hiking boots are better. Two pair of socks may make your feet a little warm, but that's better than having butt busting blisters. Are you ready? Good. Now get in your car, drive to a nearby mountain, and walk up to the summit. If you can find a trail that traverses several peaks, that's even better. Spend 3-4 hours walking up and down mountains and your butt will be screaming at you, "Here I am, back here. Remember me now?" As an added benefit, your butt will probably reacquaint you with some other long lost friends-- your quads and your calves.

The Butt Buster Basic edition is inexpensive, but if you want to throw some money on it, you can opt for the Deluxe version with various add-ons: GPS system, heart rate monitor, camelback, camera (to take photos of friends when they fall on their butts), bug repellent clothing, pants with multiple zippers, and a sherpa carrying all the fixin's for a gourmet lunch.

The Butt Buster is easy to use and readily available in many (but not all) locations. It can be used by multiple people simultaneously, which makes it easier to appreciate butt humor ("I'm going to slide down these rocks on my ass, that's why I grew it"). No need to go online, no deposit required, just call up a friend, ask them to join you and start Butt Busting today.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


On Thursday I finally dragged my sorry ass to the gym and did a mini tri--bike run swim. It was amazing....I felt so much better when I finally got myself in gear. And I had so much more energy when I was done. This morning I got in the pool for the Masters Swim and I felt much better than I thought I would. I quit a little early, but I still swam at least 1600 yards. Then I went on a 25 mile bike ride with the club. My shoulders are a little sore, my knees are a little wobbly.... it feels great to have my mojo back! Tomorrow's adventure is hiking. Yeah baby!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Viruses Workload and Slothdom, Oh My!

When my husband came down with a nasty cold, I kept telling myself I must be doing something right because I NEVER GET SICK. Yeah, well, I got sick. He was banished to the guest room for a couple of nights and then it was my turn. I actually took a sick day last week. I spent most of the day watching TV (I love watching TV, even bad TV, especially when I'm sick and I have the perfect excuse for consecutive hours of TV viewing). After my TV vacation, I went back to work, but this is one of those colds that LINGERS, so you don't feel lousy enough to stay home, but you aren't exactly a bundle of energy either. On top of the viral invasion of body and spirit, I have a small tonnage of work that has kept me in the office until 7:00 on more than a few evenings (today's evening activity was deleting emails-- I deleted more emails than I sent!). Then there was the rainy gloomy weather last week and before you know it, slothdom has descended and enveloped me. It's gotten to the point where sleeping is making me sore. I think my body is trying to tell me to get up and move! I have a meeting tomorrow evening, and a big clump of work that has a Friday deadline. So I'm still not over the hump. But time is slipping away. I think Flo's shirt is going to be the magic bullet. Yeah, I will have to put it on and kick my own ass. Double super duper ass kicking. With photos.