Sunday, November 30, 2008

11 days

11 days of coughing so far. I guess I'd better haul my weary carcass to the doctor again tomorrow before I lose even more training time and get even fatter. (It's only Shirley who is happy that she is fat enough, not me.)

Besides, it's time to get cracking on that training, no!? After all, I'm signing up for another iron-distance triathlon tomorrow morning, with less than a year to train.

But as you probably know already, it's Brian's fault, plus the fault of all those challenged athletes out there doing iron-distance triathlons and making me feel all puny and inadequate for not finishing my first attempt in 2006.

So despite my better judgment, and my best efforts to settle quietly into respectable, sedentary, feeble old age, they've gone and gotten me all inspired and everything. So here we go again!

Battleship or bust!

All the latest

I suppose instead of actually reading this blog you can just scan the keywords instead:

Make your own here. Thanks to Sarah for the fun link! Her words came out much better than mine - mine keeps picking up the horrible Blackberry sig that I can't seem to remove to save my life.

Gender identity crisis

This site says:

"We think is written by a man (66%)."

Uhhh, thanks a bunch for the lead, Al. Now can you tell me how to explain it to my husband?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What is this!?

These were on the beds in our hotel room. They're like one-quarter sized bedspreads. Um, can someone explain to me what they are, and WHY!?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Wintery waves

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all my fine readers have a wonderful day!

I'm taking it easy, still recovering from bronchitis (although I did get in a few of the dreaded bike trainer indoor rides this week). Back to cracking down again next week when hopefully this cough will be gone.

Next Monday I will be registering for Beach 2 Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon! Woot! Not sure which link they will use for signups, but if you're doing it you may want to set up your personal information now! Other than that I'm trying to keep my 2009 events down to a bare minimum of about one per month. Other than that string of 3 or 4 half marathons in the spring, that is.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Can you pass the civics quiz?

Are you an informed American citizen?

Give it a try.

You answered 31 out of 33 correctly — 93.94 %
Average score for this quiz during November: 77.6%
Average score: 77.6%
Disclaimer: I should note that this quiz is sponsored by a right-wing think tank, and accordingly it does have some questionable responses.

Friday, November 21, 2008

For my photographer friends

For those of you who enjoy incredible photographic images and history as much as I do (especially public domain items), here are three fabulously rich sites that I've been spending a lot of time browsing lately:

The LIFE photographic archives


Library of Congress photographic catalogue

Bronchitis? AGAIN!!??

Third time this year. I can tell I'm just not living right.

I just bought a neti pot yesterday to see if it will help with my pool nose symptoms. Of course I tried it out a couple of times after I got it home yesterday.

I didn't think it was supposed to cause bronchitis.

In other news, we've had an unseasonable cold snap for the past several days. I brought the bike inside and put it on the trainer and even got a couple hours of riding in. Over two days. It just seems like so much more work than a normal 2-hour ride down the road!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A leisurely 1500 yards

I got back in the pool for laps today, without the kids even, which I've been avoiding since I recognized the poolwater has been giving me severe nasal issues.

I went in the cooler of the two pools at our Y (presumably with less nasty stuff in the water), wore my new Speedo noseclip, and did 1500 yards at a comfortable pace, using open turns, and stopping a few times to adjust the noseclip (ouch!) or goggles or stretch my crampy feet, etc.

Time? About 41 minutes - close to what I've swum in some races.

Sheesh! I must be swimming in circles in races or stopping completely to sight every 6 strokes or something!

Anyway, it's 3 hours post-swim and my nose is running like a faucet. Obviously we have not found the optimal solution yet. I've got a few more ideas yet to try, though.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Holly rules!

I just received a surprise present from Holly: a placard that reads:


What a great friend! She can read me like a book, can't she!? Beach to Battleship triathlon is a year away, I haven't signed up yet, and already I'm worrying that I won't complete sufficient training for it.

She was also kind enough to send one to Shawn in a 70.3 version, to help her prepare for her first half iron-distance triathlon next year.

Linae (who also got the same thing) said it better than I could, with some help from Joe Cocker: I get by with a little help from my friends.

That placard is staying right next to my computer where I can see it for the entire next year!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nose news

Not much happening lately to report on. Just the regular routine of taking the girls to school each day, working out, picking them up, feeding them, going to sleep, starting over the next day.

On Wednesdays after school we have swim lessons. Yesterday I tried out a new Speedo nose clip during their lesson. Forgot it for one lap, then wore it for the rest of the time I did a short (700 yard) swim. It didn't hurt once I had it adjusted right. Then I had it off while playing in the pool with them for about another half hour after the lesson. I also quickly spritzed some saline in my nose post-swim but not a lot.

Result? My congestion is only about 10% of what it was for normal non-noseclip swims! Hurrah! That's a pretty manageable level that allows me to still breathe through my nose the subsequent night. I can live with that. Let's see what happens on longer swims.

In other unrelated news, if you're interested in some of the blatant cheating that goes on in triathlons these days, you'll be interested in this post. Yes, I believe that drafting on the bike = using fins on the swim. Same-same.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Peak flow

I'm so psyched about peak flow. And no, I'm not talking about some woo-woo psychological thing.

I'm talking about the incoming tide at Wrightsville Beach for Beach to Battleship iron-distance triathlon next year.

Peak tidal flow is going to happen about 4 minutes before the start of the swim leg in 2009. Which should hopefully carry me to the swim exit in a very very nice extra-quick time, well under the longest swim of the 2008 race, 1:32.

That extra 20-30 minutes or so could make all the difference to me on race day! Because this time I WILL FINISH the full 140.6 miles. By the cutoff. Just in case you were wondering. If only to collect all the charity money that people have promised me after I finish this thing.

And then I can retire from iron-distance racing. And marathoning.

My next sport

This is going to be my next sport. Triathlon is too hard. Except I think you need to go to librarian school to learn how to do it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Happy Anniversary CAF

The Challenged Athletes Foundation is celebrating their fifteenth year of changing lives, one athlete at a time.

Take a look through their slide show of their festivities and I'm sure it will touch your heart and you'll quickly understand why I'm proud to be raising money to support their mission as, over the next year, I work my way towards the finish line of the 2009 Beach 2 Battleship iron-distance triathlon.

I just received my CAF "Race for a Reason" shirt in the mail yesterday. It gives me great motivation!

At the pool

Last night I took the girls back to the Y indoor pool for the first of six swimming lessons. They both loved it! They are much fonder of swimming than soccer, that's for certain! Catherine is starting to swim underwater quite well for short distances. Elisabeth still flails around a bit and she's so skinny she sinks easily, but she's learning to paddle with her arms better and control her breath.

After the lesson we met one of the other moms. She struck up a conversation with the girls and Catherine started talking about how Elisabeth goes to speech therapy, and the woman told them about how she goes to physical therapy. She ended up pulling up her pants legs and showing the girls her two prosthetic lower legs and explaining how she got them (apparently some kind of terrible septicemia led to a double amputation). I thought that was really cool that she would "show and tell" all that to the girls, and it made me feel good about fundraising for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. We'll see her again next week.

I got in a quick 600 yards during their lesson and was only halfway congested last night, so there seems to be a length-of-exposure factor in my reaction to the poolwater. I'm waiting on a new shipment of noseplugs to test out to find one that doesn't hurt to wear.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Fast guy Noah Wood was kind enough to send me this photo of my amazement at winning my age group and a generous gift certificate at the Sports Boosters 5K a week ago:

I voted - twice!

Once here:

and once at my regular polling place. I voted (you guessed it) basically a straight Democratic ticket, although a straight ticket didn't seem to be an option this time. Except I voted against a local guy running for school board who has had nasty disputes in his personal life splashed all over the papers for months.

They had a mock election at the elementary school yesterday and both of my girls voted for McCain. Catherine said it was because her Daddy likes McCain. Hmm, they pick up all kinds of things when you don't even realize they're listening, don't they!?

Obama ended up winning the elementary school election in a landslide, however. It was fun watching the African-American principal of our school help an African-American fifth grade boy wearing an Obama shirt proudly announce the school election results over the school PA system.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween 2008

As promised, some Halloween photos from school! The girls really got into it this year - switching princess identities from last Halloween. OF COURSE Catherine was Ariel, her beloved mermaid. Elisabeth decided to be Cinderella - using Catherine's old costume from last year. We get a lot of mileage out of these costumes since they like to play dress-up in them about once per week.

Elisabeth got to show us her favorite classroom activity - like Mom, like daughter!

Steve was even able to attend the festivities at school this year and enjoy a cupcake with his girl.

We went out trick-or-treating in the neighborhood for the first time but only made it around one nearby block and that was enough. We acquired plenty of candy at only a few house visits. The girls started battling over possession of the single flashlight so I decided that they were tired and sugared-out enough for this year!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Go Iron Jim!

Special shout out today to Ironman Jim Creighton, who successfully finished Ironman Florida yesterday! Way to go!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Down's Park 5-Miler

Had a lovely race today (even though I ran very hard) around a lovely park next to the Chesapeake, with good friends! Jeanne was my rabbit and led me the whole way except when she sprinted past me several times after walk breaks at about a 6 min/mile pace.

Results are already posted!
48:39.67 = 9:43 min/mile pace
192/243 overall = 79%
Better than my average finish!
I think it's a PR (I haven't done many 5-mile races), though that pace still wouldn't buy me a sub-1:00 10k.

As far as I can remember, the last 5-miler I did was a turkey trot in 2004 when I ran 54:10 - so in 4 years I've lost well over a minute per mile.

One of the best parts was that they had their technical singlets and cycling vests on sale for $5 each. I bought 1 singlet and 3 vests!

Will post some Halloween photos tomorrow. . . . tired now. . . . zzzzZZZZZzzzzZZZZzzz