My coworker went to Utah and brought these back.
Monthly Archives: March 2011
Yesterday was the Waterfront at Pu’uloa Sprint Triathlon, my third triathlon ever and the first one since the Ko’Olina Triathlon in October. Five months ago was the last time I did this and though I wasn’t nervous in the weeks and days leading up to the race, I definitely was the night before. I had a hard time getting to sleep and was worried about what what I would have for breakfast and transitions and the swim in the actual ocean instead of the protected coves in Ko’Olina.
It turns out, though, that running was the least of my worries. I felt comfortable in the ocean swim for the first time ever. I was, admittedly, slow. I stayed at the back of the pack and didn’t try to push myself out in the front or middle of the group for fear that I would tire myself out early and be the only one in the race to have to raise a hand for help. Being pulled out of the water by life guards wasn’t exactly how I wanted to start the race. So slow and steady wins the race was my motto for the morning. I pushed harder on the way back to the shore and when I came out of the water I felt good.
Swim Time: 15:09.
Coming out of the water I was feeling good, but when I got to my bike I was totally disoriented. I had set out my gear to be available as I needed it, and yet I was fumbling for the things I needed. I nearly dropped my bike as I struggled to get my race number and helmet and completely forgot to grab my glasses. With all the fumbling around I didn’t have time to put my gloves one and decided instead to shove them in my jersey pockets and see how the ride would go without them.
Transition 1 time: 1:49
The roads were on this route were awful. One small stretch had been repaved recently, but the rest of it was riddled with pot holes and generally just broken down pavement. And the wind. Oh, god was it windy. I struggled, I admit. I’ve focused so much on my swimming and running that I’ve mostly neglected my biking, and I could definitely tell.
Bike Time: 42:46
Wind was at its worst the last stretch of the bike route and by the time I got into the transition area my legs were feeling rubbery. Wes (who had done the bike portion on a relay team) and the swimmer on his relay team were waiting for me at T2 and cheered me through my last change.
T2 Time: :50
My legs were stiff from the bike ride and I was thinking about all those times I could have gone on a bike ride but focused on the swimming instead and cursed that choice! I was slow going and by mile 2.5 I had been passed by three women but I couldn’t find the push to pass them with another 1.2 miles left in the race. So, again, slow and steady. I focused on my breathing and my form and tried to just keep running. Wes found me with a half a mile left to go and got me to speed up. I kept one woman from passing me and at the last corner to the finish line and I sprinted and passed another woman – the same woman who passed me 2 miles earlier, and yes, it felt good.
Run Time: 36.56 (3.7 miles)
Total time: 1:37:29, which was over ten minutes faster than my last triathlon. I was faster in the swim and only slightly slower in the run (the distances were slightly different so I haven’t had a chance to compare them equally). I was even slower on the bike, but I felt worse, which I think caused my run to suffer.
My next race is the Honolulu Triathlon (Olympic distance) in May and I’m going to make an effort to work on my biking as much as I have swimming.
I think it runs in the family, the small piles of things I make. Instead of putting things away as soon as I’m done with them, I drop them in a pile and wait for a more appropriate time (um, when the pile gets so big that I can’t ignore it) to deal with it. My grandmother was what they now call a hoarder. Her house was just one giant pile of things she couldn’t or didn’t want to put away. She bought things just to buy things – because they were on sale or they looked cute – and then dropped them into a pile of other useless items.
Growing up my dad was merciless about piles. If things were left out too long they ended up in the trash. He’d cleaned out my grandmother’s house one too many times to let his own house turn into that. So I have a piece of my mother’s side (Pile it up! Deal with it later!), but I also have my dad’s side, when the piles become too much and I have no choice but to clean them all up. And then continue on to drawers and cabinets and purge anything in the apartment that we don’t need. I’ve been in my grandmother’s house enough times to know that I don’t want to let stuff accumulate too much.
Looking at the images of Japan on the news and online I’m overcome by how much stuff they have to deal with. Where do you even begin to start to rebuild? Whole cities destroyed and bodies still floating ashore. It’s cliche, I know, but my heart does ache for the devastation that Japan is dealing with. For what they’ll have to deal with for months and years in the future while they rebuild their country.
If you haven’t already, text REDCROSS to 90-999 to donate $10 through your phone bill. Heck, sometimes Wes’ extra text messages cost more than that. It’s the least we can do.
I received an e-mail on Wednesday afternoon for a 10k race on the following Sunday and thought, What the hell. I am, after all, in preparation (not quite training as it’s been so sporadic) for a couple of triathlons. The first of which is this coming Sunday and the swim part is in the actual ocean, and not just small coves that protect me from the waves. This morning I swam with a co-worker of Wes’ who was an all-American swimmer in college and he said I had a nice stroke and kicked well, so I’m only a little nervous. It will be my first triathlon since Ko’Olina in October but will hopefully be a nice way to get me back in the saddle because in May I’ve signed up for the Honolulu Triathlon in the Olympic distance. For that one I’m more than a little nervous.
But back to the 10k. Since the running portion of the Honolulu Triathlon is a 10k I thought this would be a good way to show my body and mind how long a 10k actually is. (I’m horrible with distances and weight. In high school my brother loved to ask me whether a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers and though I know that I a pound is a pound is a pound, I always said the bricks weighed more). So a 10k. What’s that, 6.3 miles or something close to that. Not an unthinkable distance, but definitely more than what I’ve ran since December. I needed a jump start to my running routine and this was to be it.
My goal was to finish in 56 minutes, which was definitely pushing it but sometimes you need lofty goals to push yourself. Starting the race I felt pretty good. Let me rephrase that, standing at the starting line before the race actually started, I felt pretty good. I was confident that I would at least finished in under an hour. But then the actual race began and I just wasn’t feeling it. I was slow the first mile and coming up on the first water station at mile 3, I was dragging. I had to stop and walk and catch my breath before running again. And then, a mile down the road I had to stop again. At one point a woman pushing a stroller past me and for a moment I was re-energized – no way was I going to be passed by a woman with a stroller (nothing against women with strollers, obviously, more like, if that woman with a fucking stroller can run this then I sure as fuck can), but that didn’t last too long before I had to walk again. Etc., Etc., Etc. until the end of the race.
I finished in 1:05 and couldn’t figure out why the race was so bad. It was a nice wake up call to get out and run more often (which I have been doing) but I still couldn’t figure out why I was dragging so early on in the race. Three miles is my minimum run and I was dragging even before that. I thought about the elevation, but the change from our place to the highest point isn’t high enough to even be an issue. I left the race baffled and with a new determination to to run more often.
On Monday I took Tsunami with me on a run in our neighborhood and the same thing happened. A mile into the run and I was ready to sit down on the side of road. Again, I was baffled. But then it hit me: I haven’t eaten enough. After taking two months of from running, the only running I had been doing was at lunch. Running at noon in Hawaii is hot and I always made sure to to get enough to eat before starting my run. I don’t usually have a large breakfast so when I was starting a run I would usually only have a piece of toast and a glass of water. Not enough to sustain me through a 3-mile run, let alone a 10k race.
Now that I’ve figured it out I have to come up with a menu that won’t leave me too full to want to run.
Last night it was obvious that Tsunami, after having been cooped up for months with an unfortunate let injury, had regained some of her old energy. Which is to say that after an hour-long walk, she went crazy at 7 o’clock. First there was just a little running around and I threw the ball in the house for her a couple of times. Then she relocated to the back yard and we tossed her rope around for a little bit until she grew tired of that and refused to set paw on the grass to retrieve said rope. So I went inside because there are mosquitoes out there and if she doesn’t want to play then I’m not getting all eaten up just watching her stare off into space.
But The Snizz was having none of it. Soon her playfullness escalated into plain bitchiness. There was barking, followed by bolting around the backyard, a favorite game of hers that neither Wes nor I can stand. She’s come to think of the backyard as her place and refuses to listen to us when we give her commands. Yes, we should do a better job of making her understand that we rule her, and not the other way around (and I will get to that), but last night I wasn’t in the mood to chase her around the backyard because you can’t catch her when you’re alone. Instead I went inside and shut the sliding glass door, my signal to her that I’m not putting up with her shenanigans and she can either sulk outside or she can start playing nicely.
But the barking got louder and, not wanting to upset the neighbors, I went back outside to try to calm her down. She didn’t want to play with any of her toys; all she wanted to do was run around and bark. She clearly missed the dog park, but I am not a dog and I don’t enjoy chasing my puppy around – it makes me look crazy.
Now here I have to interject and say that a couple of weeks ago we put a dog door in our screen door. It’s made all our lives so much easier.
Back to last night, though. Tsunami is running around the backyard, barking like I’m a burglar (or how I hope she would bark if there were a burglar, though I’m pretty sure she’d just wag her tail and then roll over for some tummy rubs) and I’m getting more angry by the moment. I’m nearly ready to cry or yell or both when she bolts past me and runs smack into the sliding glass door.
The thud her head makes when it connects with the glass is so loud that I’m nearly certain she’s going to pass out. But she doesn’t. She turns around and walks slowly to the grass and I can see the confused look in her eyes like, But I was sure there was a door there? And there would have been, if I hadn’t shut the sliding glass door.
Don’t worry, she’s fine. I’d like to say that she learned her lesson and will think twice before she rushes through the dog door, but I know that won’t happen. She’ll forget about this – like dogs forget about most unsavory things – and somewhere down road she’ll do it again. Dogs, unlike elephants, always forget.
The downside to living in Hawaii – yes, there is a downside to living in “paradise” (like it’s not really paradise if you have to work and pay bills and clean your house, and it never gets cold here and our skis are gathering dust) – is that it’s so far away from everyone. Tomorrow is the day that we should have been leaving to visit friends in New Orleans and experience Mardi Gras (quote Tawnya, “And tell Wes we’re getting hammered and we’re not driving anywhere so he better be prepared!”). But then other things came up that were more important than getting shit-faced in NOLA (not that it wouldn’t have been fun and great to see good friends), like a wedding in August so a trip to New Orleans in March wasn’t a sure thing.
And then Wes started traveling a lot for work. Which, okay, it’s for work so it doesn’t require him to use any vacation days, but it still means that he’s away from work for days at a time, which does mean that it’s harder for him to actually use vacation time when we want to. Right now, for instance, he’s in Seattle for three days for a 6-hour meeting. Three days and 10 hours of travel for a 6-hour meeting. He’ll spend more time in the airport and on the plan than he will in the meeting.
So instead of celebrating Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, we’ll be not celebrating at home. But enjoying our time nonetheless. I guess that’s the price we pay for living in Paradise.