The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Ride

Today I drove to Hamilton in central New York. There is a funky conference center here, very laid back with cabins and a dining room overlooking the lake. I have a meeting that starts tomorrow at noon, so rather than getting up at the crack of dawn (it’s a 4+ hour drive), I drove up today. And I brought my bike. And my little Canon. I went for a fantastic ride in the late afternoon. It was all back roads, through farm country, over rolling hills (no killer climbs). The temp was in the mid 70s with big puffy clouds floating by. People working on the farms waved to me, and cars waited for me at intersections. And when I got back into town, I stopped at Maxwell’s for an ice cream cone. The only downside was being alone. I don’t mind being alone, but I just wanted to share the experience with someone who would appreciate it as much as I did.
Here’s my ride:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mileage and Images

I spent most of the day Saturday taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. The thing I love about a digital camera is not paying for film. I didn't run out of power, but I'm sure I would run out of power before I ran out of space on a 2 GB memory card.

I spent a good part of the day on Sunday on my bike. It was a beautiful ride, along the shores of the reservoirs, with a rest stop at the bagel shop. Bike riders love bagel shop rest stops!

In the evening I prepared a simple but delicious dinner for Father's Day. I could get used to this!

Friday, June 13, 2008

After Tri, Before DSLR

Having the triathlon on my schedule was a wonderful goal and really motivated me to work hard and challenge myself, mentally and physically. So, as might be expected, I have let things slide since the race. I think I needed the “vacation,” especially mentally. But now I am trying to find another direction or goal, to get me back in the game. I looked at the triathlon schedules for the rest of the season and nothing popped out as being both in the realm of possibility and at a time when I am not traveling. I am going to be traveling quite a bit in the next 6 weeks, which makes training for any race difficult. So I have decided to focus more on what I enjoy the most—being outdoors and riding my bike. Yesterday was a beautiful day and I went out for a ride by myself, something I don’t do very often. But it was nice to ride at whatever pace felt right, stop to take a few pictures, and make my own decisions about whether to make that right knowing it would take me uphill. In the evening, I volunteered to row my little boat for tri-friend K, who is getting ready for the Philly Tri (an Olympic). We were joined by another club member who brought his kayak, just to get out on the water. Then we made friends with another kayaker, and our little flotilla surrounded K as she swam about a mile. We finished up with a little picnic. So overall, it was a great day! I made that right turn and climbed to the top of Moseman Avenue. I rowed my little boat on a beautiful little lake and picnicked with some friends. When I got home, I spent some time with DH. And when the day was done, I slept like a baby.

Over the last month or so, I have been taking my camera along and taking pictures wherever I go. Yankee Stadium, Batavia, biking and hiking. I went to the Fat Tire Festival last weekend just to take photos. DH and I are going to Israel next month, so I decided it was now or never. I bought the digital SLR that I have coveted for so long. I bought a Canon Rebel XTi with a 28-135 zoom. DH called to tell me that it was delivered. My Before DSLR days are over. Tomorrow is the first day of my DSLR Life. First stop: Cold Spring Triathlon, which features a 1 mile kayak in lieu of a swim segment.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Tri Truth

Arrive at Lakeside Park, get set up, notice all the really incredibly fit-looking athletes, feel a bit intimidated, but quickly banish those thoughts. Take some photos with my tri-friends and tri-DH. Having fun. Put on my wetsuit, start to feel nervous. I am in the 6th wave, standing on the beach watching how slowly the swimmers are moving through the water and how far away that big yellow buoy seems. Decide I would like to go home. Quickly banish that thought. Line up at the waters edge, all the way at the back of the wave, on the inside. The horn blows and I wait 2 or 3 seconds to let everyone else hit the water and then I very gently dive in. The water is not nearly as cold as last week, and I fall into my own slow even rhythm. Just about the time I am turning around, the faster swimmers in the next wave start to swim over me. I gasp and snort a bit, but keep on moving forward. The swim was mentally the most challenging. I had to keep focused on maintaining that rhythm and not thinking about how slow I was moving. I am in the water for 15 minutes and it feels like much longer. But I tell myself the hardest part is done.

My bike is the only one still on the rack. I feel my confidence falling away, but I remind myself it's my race. By the time I get the wetsuit off and my socks, shoes, helmet, gloves, and glasses on, I have settled down a bit and I'm off on the bike. After a half mile, I am smiling because it feels so good and I feel so good about what I am doing. I am getting passed by athletes with much higher numbers (which means they started way after me). I don't let it bother me because it's my race and they can't take that away from me! I go as hard as I can, hit the turnaround, tried to keep the pace, hit T2, and head out for the run. The run was physically the most difficult. I was hoping the feeling would ease after 1/2 mile or so, but I never really got comfortable. All I saw was the road, and all I kept thinking was keep going, don't stop. The higher numbers are still passing me. Oh well. Then I see one lady really struggling and she is wearing a much lower number. I pass her! Yeah, I passed someone, I won't be dead last! I hear the crowds, I see the finish line! I did it.

I finished in 1:46 (1/3 mi swim, 12 mi ride, 3 mi run). I am 386 in a field of 423. I am 12/13 in my age group. So no trophy. I am slow. I will never be fast. I am convinced that all the training in the world ain't gonna make me faster. It may make it easier, but I don't think I'm going to find much speed. But I feel great and I am a triathlete!