Friday, November 25, 2011

Earn and Burn the Turkey

I have loved having this week off. It has been perfect. Started off last weekend having a garage sale with my mom, her cousin and her niece. I pocketed a little over $100, just enough "extra" cash to sign up for my first 1/2 Ironman. It's not until next October 2012 (SOMA), but I did sign up in 2011. I also got rid of a bunch of clothes that didn't fit me anymore. I may not have lost a lot of weight in the past year, but I have lost some inches. A lot of the clothes were my son's, and he hasn't lost weight or inches. Every time I turn around my baby is taller and more manly.

Sunday we went with our friends on their very first bike ride with the Riverside Bicycle Club. We rode from City Hall, around the base of Mt. Rubidoux, on the Santa Ana River Trail to Starbucks on Mt. Vernon and back by way of Fairmount Park. While it was a nice little spin for Robert and me, it was a 22-mile challenge for our friends. We had a big breakfast together afterward and assured them their butts would toughen up.

Monday was an errand day - son to see back doctor, dog to see vet for skin allergy - and clean house and do laundry day. I actually got the kids to do the cleaning house part, and I only do my own laundry now, so mostly I spent the day sitting around at doctor's offices and reading, and reading, and reading. Managed to get in a run before sitting in front of the fire and reading, and reading, and reading.

Tuesday Robert and I got up early and drove to Azusa to go on our First Annual Earn the Turkey Ride. We rode on the San Gabriel River Trail from Azusa to Seal Beach, where we took a short break and had breakfast at River's End Restaurant before heading back. 

I wore a new pair of bike Capri's and I was commiserating with my friend by the time I got back to the car. My butt cheeks were sore. Thank goodness I had started off the ride with Hoohaa Ride Glide. I wish I had had some at our halfway stop. When I got home I went online and ordered the little travel packs of Hoohaa because having a tender hoohaa is no laughing matter.

Wednesday was another hang around the house day. We got the backyard cleaned up and I got a lot of editing done on my book. Robert had to go to work. I lifted weights for an hour, then read the entire Janet Evanovich Explosive Eighteen.

Thanksgiving morning was quiet at my house. Danielle went to my mom's to help her get the food ready. Dion slept in until 10:30, then jumped up and took a shower to get to his girlfriend's Thanksgiving dinner on time. I made pumpkin muffins (2 ingredients - spice cake and a can of pumpkin) and wrote for several hours. It is way easier for me to write when everyone is gone or quiet or I have my headphones on and listen to music to block THEM out. I had to wake Darin up at 12:30 to get him going. Dinner at my mom's was nice and relaxed and I was Thankful that all 3 of my kids (and the girlfriend) were able to make it to my mom's. I was Thankful that I only had to make green beans and bring a vegetable tray and my muffins. I was so Thankful that I didn't have to cook a turkey, or mashed potatoes, or stuffing, etc.  My family usually goes to the movies after Thanksgiving dinner and this year was no different, except it was hard for us to agree on what to see. All the movies out either seemed like a big dud or someone had seen it. We ended up seeing Jack and Jill - Adam Sandler's movie. It was so stupid I actually laughed out loud a few times. The only bummer part of Thanksgiving was that Robert had to go to work.

No Black Friday for me. I rode with the Riverside Bicycle Club on the "Burn The Turkey" ride. It was about 39 miles, with lots of climbing. We all started out together, but as usual, the fast group was gone before we were out 5 miles. The rest of us were stretched out and then a hill cut us into two more groups. I ended being in the middle group with Sheri and Barry. The three of us rode together the entire rest of the way. Sometimes it is really nice to ride with people you don't really know. We just banded together to get the ride done and had sporadic conversation along the way while riding under blue skies and past horse ranches and citrus farms and lots of wide open spaces.

I have two more days off before I go back to work and they are pretty packed - 10k Turkey Trot, then swim clinic with Coach Tony Saturday morning and RBC bike ride on Sunday. I plan to get in some yard work and Christmas decorating before Monday rolls around.

Monday I start back to my routine - write, work, triathlon training.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I Asked My Guy to Grocery Shop

It was a busy weekend. I didn't have time to grocery shop. I didn't have enough cash in my wallet to buy groceries and gas. I drive a Suburban people and every time I fill it up it's a good $100. When I grocery shop it is a good $200 to $300. I don't carry that much cash around at one time.

So I asked my guy to stop by the store and pick up groceries. When he asked what we needed I thought I had done a good job of answering the question succinctly - "You know, stuff to eat and COFFEE!"

I came home from work and yes, there was coffee, but the stuff to eat was not MY stuff to eat.  He had bought two bricks of cheese, two packages of cheese, sliced roast beef, sourdough bread, frozen burritos, frozen taquitos, frozen breaded chicken, yogurt, two bottles of wine, 3 bananas and coffee.

Okay, so I am good with the yogurt, 3 bananas, coffee and two bottles of wine. But where is the rest of MY food.  No veggies? No whole wheat bread? No veggies? (yes, I know I wrote that twice -  but I am a big veggie eater and we don't have any veggies).

So I have learned my lesson. Next time I ask my guy to grocery shop I will give him a list.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dirty Girl

Last weekend I competed in a Muddy Buddy with my 19-year-old son. It was a blast.

 We spent the entire weekend driving together, eating together and racing together. The togetherness ended the minute we drove into the driveway and I mentioned how dirty the mountain bike was and how many dirty clothes and towels we had in the back of the suburban. I didn't see him again for 3 days. That's about how long it took me to clean off the bike and wash all our dirty, muddy clothes (the clothes required two to three washes to get all the mud out).

It got me thinking about how much laundry I, as a triathlete, make in a day. So I decided to made a pictorial of my clothes (sorry if my undies are peeking out in the pics, but I just took the garments off and tossed them on the floor).

My pajamas consisted of bottoms, a top, underwear and socks. Not to bad. I would have this for laundry even if I wasn't a triathlete.

I changed into my running clothes. It was a little chilly so I wore running capris, underwear, sports bra, short sleeve running shirt with a long sleeve wicking shirt over it, and a running jacket and socks. I had a nice little 4-mile run. It warmed up and I had to take the jacket off and tie it around my waist. By the time I got home I had sweat trickling down my back and into my pants. Everything was wet and smelly. All of it had to go into the laundry.

I got dressed for work - jeans, tshirt, long-sleeve sweater, bra, underwear and socks.  After work I went straight to the gym where I swam about 1500 yards. After swimming I put on a pair of sweatpants, camisole and a long-sleeve wicking shirt. I put my underwear back on (trying to save myself some laundry). 

When I got home I dumped everything on the floor - my bathing suits (yes, suits - I sometimes wear two because I have lots of worn out suits and instead of buying new suits, I just double them up and hope no one can see through them), and my work clothes. I set aside my sweatpants, camisole and long-sleeve wicking shirt to put back on. Underwear and towel went in the pile.

After my shower I put on clean underwear and the sweatpants, cami and long-sleeve wicking shirt. I decided I could sleep in them and I would be good to go for the next morning because my plan was to get up and go out in our garage and lift some weights. All I would need to do the next morning is put on some sock and tennis shoes.

This is after weight-lifting.

I am thinking the name should be changed to quadathlon - swim, bike, run, laundry.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Muddy "Muddy Buddy" Buddy

Today after several years of keeping me at arms length, my 19-year-old son finally let me play with him. It was almost like years ago when he was 2, or 3 or 5 or 7, before he grew up and didn't want me to be his playmate. Or maybe it was I who had just forgotten how to play.

Times have changed. I know how to play.

Today my son and I got up early and drove together through Starbucks for breakfast and then to our event. I even let him play games on my phone while we drove. We laughed, and then we got to our destination and looked at people in silly costumes and laughed some more and then the real fun began.

Today, my son and I were participants in the 2011 Los Angeles Columbia Muddy Buddy. The "Buddy" part almost says it all. Almost.

The Muddy Buddy starts with one buddy riding a mountain bike and the other buddy running.  After a little more than a mile both buddies do an obstacle and switch places. Obstacles include throwing your body over varying heights of walls, climbing ropes and sliding down slides all the while keeping other people at arms length. (Yes, I did get whacked in the face with a flailing elbow from some girl and some guy nicely pushed my tush to get me over a BIG wall). It goes back and forth like this for the entire course until the buddies join up at the end and go through the mud pit together - hence the muddy part of it all.

My 19-year-old son was my first choice to join me for this event. I have been competing in triathlons for a couple of years and have tried to get him to join me. But, no. Too serious. Too much training involved. Not enough fun? But this Muddy Buddy would be different. I mean, really, how serious is an event where some people wear costumes and you have to slither through a mud pit at the end. Training? Jeez, I told him, "You ride mountain bikes for fun and you've been running and you're YOUNG. You don't need to train." And I kept telling him it was "JUST FOR FUN!"

He agreed to do it.

I think the shirt had something to do with it.

The shirt says T-N-T Train-n-Tri on the front and on the back it say "You can't have an explosion without me" with a piece of exploding dynamite and then "Muddy Buddy".  FYI - his is a muscle shirt and he wore the shirt so much before the event I thought it would be worn out before we even got to the start line.

After a few weeks of signing up, though, my son changed the rules. Fun turned into win. What? No, no, no, I told him. I don't do any of these competitions for win. I do them for FUN! I get great pleasure out of biking and running and swimming (yes, I am enjoying swimming) training. On race day I have a fabulous time and enjoy myself and the experience. I am the one laughing and encouraging others. I am celebrating being 51 (fifty-fun) and I rejoice that I am in good enough shape to swim, bike and run. Or in today's case what was planned to be bike, run, bike, run, bike, mud.

For the past several weeks he has been telling me we were going to be able to finish the 6-mile course in 45 minutes. For the same several weeks I have been afraid I would disappoint him.

As my son put more and more pressure on me to win, the more I wanted it for him, and the less fun it became for me. It was too serious. Not enough fun. the more he talked about coming in first, second, or third, the more I dreaded the event.

Saturday, my son and I had to drive for an hour to Arcadia to pick up our race packet.  He had to work at 4 p.m. and packet pick-up was from 1 to 5 p.m.  I told him we could go early and be the first ones there, get our free hat for the first 50 people, our mystery shopping card, eat lunch and be home in time for him to shower and shave to get to work. I don't know about him, but I had a fabulous time driving in the car with him, standing in the front of line and waiting for registration to open WITH HIM, getting our free hats, mystery cards, making our shopping selections, and then eating lunch. And I let him use my phone to play games on the way home. 

The event could have stopped right there....I was already a WINNER! I had just spent 4 hours with my son - all by myself. We hadn't even crossed the start line and I had already gotten my money's worth from the humongous entry fee I had paid for T-N-T to compete in the co-ed 66-75 division (and yes, most of that age is from me). I was having FUN. This was fabulous, I ignored the "pressure race knot" in my stomach.

Then the weather turned and it was cold, and it was raining and my son balked. He told me it was too cold, too wet, no way. I told him to suck it up. I wasn't paying big money for us not to have him whimp

But it was fair play, I guess, because I know I drove him crazy with "Do you have your race number pinned to your shirt?", "Do you have your clean clothes to change into?", "Do you have your helmet?", "Do you have your chip on your shoe?" God, I admit I can be a race nag.

Today's Race Day couldn't have been worse and today's Race Day couldn't have been better.

The weather was horrible. Rain. Cold. Rain. Cold.
But we had friends with us in the rain and they were also cold.

(from left: Lori, Carolyn, ME, my SON, two fabulous women, Kelli, Jamie, Dorothy and Gigi)

Horn blew and off we went. T-N-T, my son's and my team name, so rocked the Muddy Buddy. Not only did we come in 8th place in our age division, but I know that somewhere along the way we changed from son and nag to buddies. 

Maybe it was when I looked at him at the start and said, "Balls to the wall, buddy." Or when he told me not to walk the bike down the hills and just ride it through (and I listened) or when I first rode the bike past him and he yelled out, "Way to go Mom. You're doing great. Keep going." Or maybe it was when I was riding up the big hill (when other people were pushing their bikes) and he ran up and yelled at me to keep going and I yelled at him to push me and he did. At this point the entire run/bike trail was a muddy, slimy mess. And I did go Balls to the Wall and I rode down every "triple down arrow" as fast as I could without taking out any runners because of my son's earlier pep talk. Maybe we changed into buddies when I had to wait at one obstacle for him to show up with the bike so I could continue on and I yelled at him to "go, go, go" (his excuse was he had to stop and puke). Or maybe it was when I had to wait for him at the end so we could go through the maze and mud pit together and I saw him coming down the hill and I jumped and waved and yelled, "Dion, come on, run, run, run." And then again, maybe it was when we started to go through the mud pit and I grabbed his hand and said, "If I slip just drag me through."

We passed a lot of teams and some teams passed us. We finished in 1:05:20.4. I was the oldest female in our division and he was the youngest male.

Son, you made all my swim, bike, run training worthwhile today because I not only kept up with you, but made you challenge yourself. But you challenged me, too, so I balls it out on the mountain bike in the mud downhill. I am so glad that today I was able to get down in the mud and play with you, son. I am so glad that I have the physical ability and energy to go the distance with you and have a laughing good time.

Love you son! Love you buddy! By the way you are muddy!