Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tri Time

Because I am procrastinating tackling the 385,284,271 house projects in preparation for our year in Australia have nothing better to do, I registered for the Rattlesnake Sprint Triathlon.  I have mentioned before that I'm interested in triathlons, but there's a big difference between thinking 'hey, that sounds pretty cool' and putting forth the training required to be able to finish in a place other than last at an actual event. 

A couple of weeks ago, I did the swim portion of a relay triathlon with my two amazing friends, Summer (who biked) and Martina (who ran).  I didn't really do much prep for this; after all, I was on the swim team in high school.  So what if high school was 17 years ago?  Isn't there, like, muscle memory or whatever? 

The swim that day was 1/2 mile, and I was fairly pleased with my 15:15 time.  And though I imagined emerging from the water and running swiftly to the transition area to hand off the timing chip to Summer for the bike portion, it was ummmmm....impossible.  I was wiped out, and I forced one foot in front of the other.  This was a good tester event to scope out the scene, and it definitely made me see that my underachieving self who is used to performing well with little or no effort was going to have to, ahem, get her ass in gear.

For this race on August 21, I'll only be swimming 500m.  Ok then, I've got one segment down.  Check.  Feeling pretty darn confident at this point.

Next phase--a 12 mile bike ride.  I am not a bicyclist (other than leisurely family bike rides on my vintage Schwinn cruiser), and the only time in my life where I have ridden more than 10 miles is also not-so-coincidentally the first time I have hitchhiked.  I've got some work to do there, clearly.  Luckily, Summer kindly loaned me her husband's Panasonic DX5000 and I'm getting a crash course in bike maintenance thanks to the lovely people at The Bike Depot in Park Hill.  Open bike shop hours where you can bring in your bike and work on it have a volunteer work on it for free?  Yes, please! 

The last phase--the R. U. N.  Ugh.  I don't love running, and despite the fact that a 5k is nothing for some people, there are a lot of choice words I could use to describe the run, so we're not on the best terms.  This phase will be about survival, although I'd really like to be able to refrain from walking.

So, folks, I'm totally training for this thing.  Like, putting forth actual effort here.  Every day, I'm either running (I'm close to 5k distance even though I hate it), swimming (1600m swims at the rec center during lunch at work), biking, or doing strength training (5lb. handweights for my arms and plank poses for my core), or some combination of a couple of those things.  I don't have the fancy triathlon clothing (not the most flattering pieces for my figure, or budget!) and I'm not even going to come close to winning...but I'm psyched.  It feels good to do something for me, like I'm reclaiming myself from years of child-bearing. 

I'll let you know how the actual event goes, and if they're not too terribly embarrassing (other than the run, which I know will be), I'll post my times. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011


He was gone one day shy of four weeks, and had the time of his life.  He loved riding horses and chopping wood with an axe and hatchet.  He knows all the requisite silly camp songs, and he acted in a camp production of Lord of the Rings.  Instead of writing us letters during the Siresta rest period, he and his tentmate often played 'Out You Go', shoving each other out of their tent, or he was off in the woods building forts.  He was the only young camper to be adorned with a nickname (Onion Ring) from the older boys, who all had nicknames of their own. The word 'boss' is now the best way to describe something really cool.  I asked him if there were any girls there he perhaps had a crush on, and the millisecond the question left my lips he answered with a swift 'No!' before declaring that he wasn't going to answer any more questions about that topic.  The boy doth protest too much, methinks. The friendship bracelet I made for him before camp is properly faded, and he could use a haircut.

I planned to take a picture of him as soon as I saw him, but I was so enthralled with seeing him again in real life that I forgot.  A kind man at the airport took this one...

I am so glad that Sam and I trusted that he was old enough for some wing-spreading.  For the past four weeks, he soared.

And now I'm so very thankful he's back in our nest.  Our family is whole again, and life is as it should be.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


25: Twenty-five days have passed since I’ve hugged my oldest son. I have spent 25 days adjusting to being responsible for the whereabouts of two children, a difficult task considering scanning around me for three is deeply ingrained in my being.

2: These past few weeks, I have played Mexican bingo with two children, admired the soft, perfect skin of two children, snuggled two children in their beds, kissed two children goodnight, and woken up in the middle of the night just to make sure two children were cozied up in their blankets, sleeping comfortably.

5: Denver has had more than 5 inches of rain so far this month. Even my storm-hardened, home-destroyed-in-Hurricane-Andrew self has been shocked by the storms we’ve had in the past week. Two nights ago, Sam and I watched as rains overwhelmed our street and water shot straight up, Bellagio fountain-style, out of the manhole at the street corner. The lid of the manhole rattled around and threatened to shoot up in the air with the force of the water.

40: Denver International Airport weathered a massive hail storm last night that damaged 40 planes. One of those planes was designated to transport my oldest son home safely from camp, and now his flight has been cancelled.  Yes, cancelled.

2: The airlines don’t understand how badly this mother of two is aching to be returned to her rightful place as a mother of three, so I now have to wait two more days to wrap my arms around my son.  Saturday, you seem so far away from Thursday.