Friday, August 28, 2009

Five Senses Friday #6

* My sister, looking beautiful, as she got married. And of course, me looking all dolled up for her wedding.

* About Michelle's first week of teaching juinor highers! Well technically reading her emails, rather than hearing. But I can just see Michelle telling the story, so that should count as hearing! :)
* "You go rockstar!" as I was riding my bike. This cheer was actually given to the girl ahead of me on the path, but I am taking it as mine because I'm a rockstar! :)

* Freshly baked bread as I walked by Great Harvest on my way to the grocery store.

* California burger & beer ice cream at Redhook Brewery - yum!! I had forgotten how good it was!

* The onset of an ear infection. Yuck!! I am trying to ward off with home remedies.
* Excitement for my upcoming trip to Krakow & Paris.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Five Senses Friday #5

* A white streak down my arm. How'd I manage to do that? And this is why I practiced several times before doing the spray tan for real, which will be this Saturday, before my sister's wedding on Sunday.

* What if dreams, as in what if we do win the lotto tonight? Mega Millions is up to some large number so a few of us pooled our resources. It is nice to dream! My what if dream? I would buy an around the world plane ticket and take a year to explore.
* Lots of geese honking as the geese police dog came and chased the geese away, and right in time too as I was about to jump in the lake for an early morning swim.

* I sit near the kitchen and the other day someone brought something in that did not smell very pleasant.

* Yummy cupcakes from NY Cupcakes for my sister's bridal shower. Yup, it's usually all about the sugar for me.

* Exhilarated after finishing my triathlon.
* Relief after picking up my dress for the wedding!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Number 7

It's a little hard for me to fathom, but on Sunday I completed my 7th triathlon. Granted all of them have been super sprint or sprint distance, which are manageable distances, nothing crazy like the Ironman. I am feeling a bit proud of myself, especially considering how much I loathed gym all through school.

The hardest part might have been picking up my packet at the expo on Saturday. I arrived shortly before 10 a.m. and was greeted with a line down the block. I reached the end of the block and realized the line went down the next block. I reached the end of that block and realized the line kept going around the corner and up the next block! Finally I reached the end of the line! To amuse myself while waiting, I played games on my phone. I was feeling hopeful as I neared the building only to find a whole new set of lines inside the building. To quote my friend Nikki, it was as if the carpet of hope was ripped out from under me and I was left with the hardwoods of disappointment. Nikki & Diane were also helping to entertain me via posts on Facebook.

Finally I reached the end, of what turned out to be the first line, got my swim cap & timing chip. Then I decided to stand in another line (voluntarily) to sign up for next year's race. Why? Because this race sells out fast! And to have it done and not worry about getting up early the morning it opens to sign up was worth another line. Next line? The one to pick up my t-shirt. A couple of women in line were nice enough to hold my place while I went and stood in another line to get body marked so I was able to stand in two lines at the same time! Finally I was body marked, had all my goodies and my chip and signed up for next year. Then it was off to "rack" my bike. Considering all the people in front of me to check in, traffic wasn't too bad to go drop off my bike.

With the pre-race activities done, all that was left to do was the race! My parents dropped me off bright and early Sunday morning and I got on to the bus. The butterflies in my stomach had started fighting each other. I laid out my transition area, did a few stretches, went to the bathroom one last time before making my way to the swim start. I took a dip in the practice area to get used to the water temp, which wasn't too cold. Standing with my yellow swim cap wave, cheering on the waves in front of us, the familiar excitement began to build.

The Swim
The crowd counted us down and we were off! I started off in the back but was soon passing a few people. Yay me! I was able to keep a good tempo, with only two moments of slight panic where I stopped for a moment to refocus myself, and continued on towards the finish. I was feeling pretty good as I exited the swim and made my way over to my bike.

Transition 1
Let's just call this the "what I need to work on for next time" section. When I got to my transition area, I was surprised to notice there were a lot of bikes still on the racks! Shirt, race belt and sunglasses all went on pretty quick. Socks and shoes I struggled with a bit but not too bad. And then I went to put on my helmet. For whatever reason I could not get the helmet to fit right. I took it off and tried putting it on again but when I buckled the strap it still didn't feel right. I knew I was wasting time at this point but I could not make myself go faster. Finally the helmet went on. I wrestled my bike off the rack and was on the course!

The Bike
I was feeling good on the bike, passing a number of people, and getting passed as well. During my training I tried to work more on hills and I think it helped. It's on the bike where I am reminded of how much I enjoy this race and why - the echo of the screams in the I-90 tunnel, the "on your left, you go girl" encouragement as you are getting passed, basically the camaraderie. You are not running this race alone.

Transition 2
Nothing out of the ordinary here. My rack was a little crowded so it was somewhat of a challenge to wedge my bike back onto the rack.

The Run
Almost there! I started off slow but finally got into a rhythm - run 15 cones, walk 5. Once I started running it got easier to say run 5 more cones. Not long after I passed the half-way point I heard my name - it was my friend Joni. My new goal became to beat Joni to the finish line knowing she would catch up to me - and sooner rather than later. I crossed the finish line and a few steps behind me was Joni!

And let me just say, if the weather for my first Seattle Danskin was too hot, and the weather for my second Seattle Danskin was too rainy, the weather for my third Seattle Danskin was just right! And yes, I do feel a little like Goldilocks at the moment.

I do have to admit, when I first looked at my times I was a little disappointed. My long-term goal is to finish in under 2 hours, my short term goal was to shave time off my Orlando time. I did finish 36 seconds better than Orlando, which is a start. And when I started comparing my times, I started to feel better about my time.

Seattle Swim: 24.31
Orlando Swim: 26.29
An improvement of almost 2 minutes!! Assuming the course lengths were the same.

Seattle T1: 6.54
Orlando T1: 4.58
Oops! Stupid helmet.

Seattle Bike: 51.52
Orlando Bike: 51.51
Basically the same

Seattle T2: 3.00
Orlando T2: 1.27
Not bad, considering the size of the transition area comparatively speaking

Seattle Run: 43.05
Orlando Run: 45.12
Wow - another 2 minute improvement!!

And there you have it. There is another triathlon coming up in a few weeks and as of right now I am going to go for it. This may change depending on what life throws my way.

Getting dropped off
Crossing the finish line
Another medal!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Seattle Danskin = 2:09:24

The race went well, if not quite what I was hoping time-wise.  But it was still a good finish time, for me anyway.   More to come later!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rain or Shine

In my last post, I made the foolish declaration of Thursday being a brick day come rain or come shine. Guess what it ended up being? It was pouring as I began to shut down at work so I talked myself into going to the gym for another "modified brick" but by the time I got out of the parking garage the rain had subsided so I made my way over to my new park of choice. I had forgotten how hilly that area was! I didn't end up going to far on my bike but enough to get that "my legs feel like a ton of bricks" feeling as I switched over to the run which ended up being mainly a walk/run instead of the run/walk that I have worked up to. Partly because the rain and slip factor, but mostly because I didn't feel like it - it was not my best workout. I made it to where I had planned to turn around but since I had started to feel good I decided to keep going, until I saw the two raccoons up ahead. They looked at me, and I looked at them, they looked at me and I let them win the staring contest. Raccoons can be mean so I decided it was a great time to turn around!

And that concludes the training portion of this race. I don't feel super ready, but when do I ever? Ha!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

All I can do is laugh

So here we are, less than a week to race day and boy is it shaping up to be an interesting week! I haven't been posting a lot of training posts, but I have been training. Sunday I was all set to do one last big brick (can you feel the foreshadowing?). I pulled my bike out of my car and was putting on my helmet when I heard "POP! Hisssssssssssssssssssss" and just like that my back tire was deflated. I debated briefly still running but instead threw my bike into my car and left as I had a gazillion errands to run (What, me exaggerate? I would never in a million years exaggerate!). While I was disappointed I didn't get my brick in, I was very thankful if my tire had to pop it did so before the race. And then when it was getting fixed the technician noticed I had a broken spoke. Whew! Sometimes a flat tire is a blessing in disguise!

Monday was fairly uneventful, with the exception of the rain that started pouring while I was out running. I usually don't mind running in the rain - I just don't want to catch a cold this close to the race.

Tuesday I woke up early, as I had an early morning chiropractic appointment. The rain was still falling steadily so I decide against taking my bike, which had been my plan. I arrive at the chiropractor right on time for my appointment. The receptionist looks at me as I walk in and tells me my appointment is on Thursday. I just start laughing. Dang it!! I am such a creature of habit - I knew I had an appointment this week and since my appointments are usually on Tuesday I assumed this appointment was also on Tuesday. Whoops! This is so unlike me. By the time I get to work the rain has pretty much subsided but my bike is at home so instead I go to the gym after work where I discover I have left my shirt at home. Fortunately I have a backup gym shirt! Woohoo!! I do a modified brick in that I do the stationary bike and then the treadmill. Which means I will be doing a real brick on Thursday, come rain or come shine. Hey, isn't that a song?

Considering the direction this week has taken, I am thinking I probably won't participate in the kickball tournament at tomorrow's work picnic, just to be on the safe side.

Okay so I re-read my post and it was a lot funnier in my mind when I was composing it. But hopefully you see the humor!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Weekend Magic

Hi-ho! Hi-ho! It's off to Disneyworld we go! Way back in May, it seemed a good idea, since I was planning to go back in October, to buy a annual pass to Disneyworld. And because I had an annual pass, any excuse to go would do! The excuse this time? I have an annual pass, there was a sale on hotels, and I would need to make a trip by the end of the year to ensure I keep my silver elite status on Continental. It didn't take much rationalization on my part!

Jana & I met up at the Orlando airport and were soon off to our hotel. This time we were staying at Pop Century. We arrived at the hotel, dodged the rain drops and checked in. Before heading to our room we made our first purchase, a Mickey poncho which turned out to be the best $6.10 I spent this trip! :) We got to our hotel, changed and were off to Hollywood Studios to catch Fantasmic, as this was the only night it was showing while we were there. We were greeted at Hollywood with the news the 9 p.m. show of Fantasmic was cancelled. As the rain had pretty much stopped, we decided to chance it and stay, assuming the 10:30 p.m. show would not be cancelled. We had dinner and did a bit of shopping and before we knew it, it was time for Fantasmic, which was as usual, Fanstasmic!! It is probably one of my absolute favorite things to watch at Disney.

Hollywood had extra early magic hours so we set the alarm and managed to make it there to enjoy some time before the park opened. We didn't manage to make it on Rockin' Rollercoaster as we decided to use our fast pass on Toy Story Midway and the regular line was just a little too long for our liking. But it helped knowing we would be back in October (so we can run in the Tower of Terror race). We finished up at Hollywood and set off for Magic Kingdom!! We arrived at Magic Kingdom in time for it to start raining - perfect time for lunch! We had lunch at Tony's restaurant (Italian - are you surprised?) and lingered over dessert as it was still pouring. Finally we finished, put on our ponchos and headed out into the rain. The scariest ride of the day turned out to be the Jungle Cruise - it was dark when we went on it and a little frog jumped into the boat and onto Jana. It probably wouldn't have been such a surprise had it not been so dark. The best ride of the day turned out to be Dumbo - we got on just as they were doing the fireworks and so we were flying while watching the fireworks go off - it was really spectacular! Magic Kingdom had extra evening magic hours and while we didn't make it until 2 a.m. we did get close.

Extra magic hours in the morning and evening makes for an extremely long day! It seemed as if my head had just touched the pillow when it was time to wake up. Off to Animal Kingdom! There were a ton of giraffes and rhinos on the safari ride!! After hitting the highlights (for us), we headed over to Epcot to visit Nemo, hang glide in Soarin' and tour the world. The previous day was catching up to us, along with the heat, so we decided to make it an early night.

We finished up the trip by exploring Downtown Disney until it was time to go home. See ya real soon!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Five Senses Friday

I think we're up to #4!

* A brand new stoplight at the intersection near my house. I can now go this way to work and not worry about whether or not I will ever be able to turn left!

* "it's a small world after all" which is still stuck in my head after being back from WDW a few days now, also stuck in my head "The Monkey's Uncle", another Disney song

* I'm trying a new lotion - plum. It has an interesting scent, but I think I like it.

* Hot chocolate - the air conditioning at work finally caught up with the weather only for the weather to turn cool.

* The heat wave was good for at least one thing - Lake Washington wasn't quite as cold this morning when I went for a swim!
* I will be feeling relaxed after my massage tomorrow!!