Saturday, May 15, 2010

Still Standing

The first triathalon is over.  I daresay it was kind of fun.  In an oh-my-gosh-my-butt-hurts-and-I-can’t-feel-my-feet kind of way.

All I can say is thank goodness for my sister and her husband, without whom we would have been sunk.  And my husband, without whom I would have had no idea how the *&$@ to get my bike off of the car.

We headed up to Maine the night before the triathalon so we could fret get ourselves ready and not have to rush in the morning.  I can’t speak for my daughter, but I tossed and turned all night just wondering what the next day would be like.  Would I be mortified at the sight of my body in spandex? I mean,  I did practice wearing it around the house but somehow it’s just not quite the same.  Would I get a flat tire?  Would I take a wrong turn and bike 5 miles in the wrong direction?

Mercifully. morning came quickly and it was time to get moving.  Unfortunately, the weather was as miserable as the forecast had called for.  Fifty-five degrees and rain.  Cold, cold, Maine rain.  Oh yeah.

The swim was fine. 12 minutes of all-out sprint followed by me struggling to get out of the pool.  There was a huge lip on the end that you had to climb up over. With tired arms.  And a large bod.  At least it wasn’t like the poor woman who swam in my daughter’s heat.  She had to have someone grab her arm and try and pull her out.  I think I would have died right then and there.

Then it was off to the transition area for my bike.  My lovely, darlin’ granny bike.  Which seemed like a nice, safe, comfy way to do the bike portion.  Turns out, I should have ridden further than 3 miles on the road before this event.  If I had taken my bike somewhere on the car rack, I would have realized that the handlebars and seat can move with bumping.  Like sideways.  So when I hopped on the bike, both the seat and the handlebars were askew.  So the seat was pointed slightly to the right, and the handlebars were also crooked, pointing to the right.  I had to hold the handlebars off center to keep the tire straight.  That was fun.  Not.  I briefly considered getting off and fixing it, but with my luck I would have made it worse.  So I figured, how bad could it be? Riding like this for an hour or so—no big deal, right?

After the first mile or so I was wondering if I was even going in the right direction.  I hadn’t seen or been passed by a single person on a bike.  Just as I was about to consider stopping to look behind me I heard this sound like a huge WHOOSH, and someone looking like they were ready for the Tour De France flew by me.  Well, at least I knew I was going in the right direction.

At what I think was a half-hour in I was really glad I didn’t have a watch on.  It was so freakin’ cold and raining that if I had realized how far I had left to go, I might have thrown in the proverbial towel.  I was being passed every few minutes by people throwing out words of encouragement. “Nice job 217, keep it up”, “You’re doing great 217, almost there”.   It was really, really nice.  Unfortunately it didn’t make me go any faster.  My bike has severe limitations.  

By the time I rounded the last turn and heard those glorious words “You’re almost there” I could barely feel my toes.  It was then I realized I still had to get my tush off the crooked bike seat, unclench my elbows which had been holding the handlebars at an angle for over an hour, and run.

It was more of a wiggly leg run/walk, and it took almost 45 minutes but I did finish.  To the sound of “Go, Mom, go!” 

And then I was done.  Two hours and one minute. 

This is me and my daughter Adrienne at the finish line. She is smiling because now she can go inside and warm up. I am smiling because I am DONE!


Thanks for following along!  And seriously, if I can do it ANYONE can!!  All you have to do is TRI!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Away We Go

Tomorrow I will be here:


Sunday I will be here:


Enjoy your Mother’s Day Weekend!  I know I might will!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Granny Bike

So I have this bike.

It’s a cross between this:


and this:


Okay, maybe not that totally dorky.  But pretty close.

It has shock absorbers under an enormous padded seat.  And nice grippy, upright handle bars.  A cute little bell.  And a basket.  Which I have removed for the triathalon so I don’t die of embarrassment.

When we first started training for the triathalon, I hadn’t been on said bike since our vacation near the Cape Cod Rail trail 3 years ago.  And even then I only rode it to Ben & Jerry’s and back.

It’s ironic.  I enjoy rides going 400 miles an hour, the more twists and turns the better.  At amusement parks, the only things that get my attention have “Warning” and “Aviso” written on them.  But something about having to be in control of the thing that is going fast just gets me. 

Probably because I’m a clutz on flat land and two feet.

My husband had graciously offered his bike for me to use for this race.  He is not a super-short man but he does have short legs, so we actually could use the same sized frame.

His bike looks more like this:


I rode it around the driveway, nearly crashed into the stone wall because I couldn’t find the brakes, chickened out and decided that my granny bike suits me just fine.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Ever had one of those dreams that are so vivid, you wake up a in cold sweat, heart pounding...and think to yourself "Thank God that was just a dream"?

I had one of those the other night. Can you venture to guess what it was about?

You got it. The triathalon.

We were at some huge outdoor venue. My parents, my kids, siblings, nieces and newphews. I think I even caught a glance of my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Krick somewhere in the background. I have no idea why, except to say that I got in trouble a lot that year. Something about talking too much and not paying attention. Let's just leave it at that.

There was a lot of running around, the requisite weird dream things like being in a train station one second and then being in an open field in the middle of the country the next.

But what got my heart pumping was when my brother looked up at me and said "Leigh just texted me her swim time. She's doing great." That's when I knew this big outdoor venue was a triathalon event.

Then my daughter looked at me and said "What time do we swim?" I looked down at my watch, saw that it was 4pm and realized that we had missed our swim--and the triathalon--altogether.

I woke up with the heart rate of a bungee jumper, sweating profusely in an all-out panic.

That was honestly close to the best feeling of relief I have had in my entire life.

I cannot wait until this is over.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It's When???

Oh. My. Gawd.

This really snuck up on me. Two weeks from today is the first triathalon. Saturday May 8th at Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine.

I think I just threw up in my mouth.

Not that I feel unprepared. Granted, last July when I agreed to give it a stab, May of 2010 seemed like it was light years away.

Now, of course, not so much.

But the bike is tuned, the outfit has arrived, the sneakers are broken in. I would have liked to have dropped a few more pounds so as not to expose my still-looks-pregnant gut to the viewing public, but alas, I might possibly need the rest of my life to do that.

So, for now, I am as ready as I can be.

Two weeks from today, I will be able to say I have completed my first triathalon. But until then, I will just be moderately panic stricken, counting down the days.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Oh, Now I Get It

Exercise is going terrific, thanks for asking. Still plugging along, feeling moderately prepared for the first event May 8th. Although I still have panic stricken dreams in which I forget to bring my bike, lose my sneakers and am running in nothing but my birthday suit, I am not too worried about it.

Other than cold-sweat inducing nightmares, it's great.

Adrienne and I went spinning last night to burn off some excess energy and stay out of this biblical rain we've been having. I keep waiting for Bill Cosby to start his stand-up routine. Remember the one about Noah? If you grew up in the 70's you might. You can listen to it here.

In any case, we arrived shortly before the class began and found two remaining bikes in the back of the class. I hopped on the one closest to the wall since it seemed like a nice, out-of-the-way bike. In other words the instructor wouldn't be able to see me huffing and puffing and possibly not doing all the insane things she was asking us to do. Yep, that's me. Slacker with a capital "S".

The bike was at an odd angle next to a mirror, and it bothered my occasionally anal sense of order, so I moved it parallel to the bike next to it and hopped on. I wasn't too thrilled being next to the mirror. You can "imagine" you look halfway decent when you are exercising if you are not biking three inches from your life-sized reflection. When you are....well, you get the picture.

The instructor was awesome, and the music was terrific. The girl next to me never stopped texting through the whole ride which was a little distracting. Takes being connected a tiny bit too far, methinks. About 5 minutes in to the warm-up I felt a drip on my arm. I was pretty psyched, thinking I was really working up a sweat. A few minutes after that I felt a drip on my leg. Still, I was thinking that it probably came off my head, and I exercising at quite a pace. A few minutes after that, more drips on my leg, a few on my shoulders. It wasn't until a huge drip hit the top of my head that I realized it wasn't sweat. I looked up at the ceiling.

When I straightened out the bike, I had moved it right back under a large dark water stain, where apparently the roof was leaking into the spin room.

Now I get it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Notes To Self

Many things have occured to me since I began the quest to exercise to the point of triathalon readiness. Some interesting. Some not so much. I share with you the current list.

1. Double D's don't jog well in Lands End underwire.
2. The wow-you-kinda-look-pregnant roll that looks flattened out in a Speedo is really just pressed around your sides and peeking out the back.
3. Never swim on an empty stomach.
4. Never swim on a full stomach.
5. 3.1 miles sound short until you start running.
6. Swimming with a cold is both inadvisable and gross.
7. Jogging with a stroller is a lot harder than it looks.
8. No wine before spinning.
9. Clipping your feet to your bike is not the best idea if you are a klutz.
10. Teaching my daughter to drive is easier than teaching her to swim.