Saturday, August 31, 2013

Back for The Circle Tri and A Reunion

Sprint tris are a little frustrating in that it is hard to compare your results from one to another unless it is the same one again.  Without a standard length swim, bike and run you are comparing apples to oranges.  As a runner I don't compare my 5Ks to a 5 miler to see how I am improving or not.  Terrain is different in any race but when the length changes it's a whole new ball game.  But I don't want to venture onto the Olympic length which is standard for many reasons, the biggest being the length of the swim.  All of the lengths seem long and the sprint suits me. It's a relatively new challenge for me to do tris at all so I'm sticking with sprints and dealing with the different lengths.

This weekend I am going back to one I did last year. Last night I wrote down how I did in each leg and the transitions on my phone so I'll have an idea what time I am trying to improve.  This was the first time I wasn't in the last swim leg and I remember being petrified that men would be swimming after me. I was in about the 3rd of 6 legs.   I survived and there are some comical photos of me running out next to some of these men. I look like I rocked as a swimmer but who knows how much after me they began.  I loved having more people around when I was biking and running.  Three weeks ago in a tri here they did the same thing (men after women) so hopefully this won't freak me out as much again this year.  It also poured and I do mean poured last year. The worst of it was when I was on the bike which was scary.  I am hoping for much better weather but the forecast is iffy. I am going to Wal Mart today to pick up a bin for transition to put my stuff in in case it rains. Last year my stuff was a dirty soggy mess.  I was not prepared at all.  I figure if I don't get ready for rain this time it will pour but if I do all will be well.

My goals for this weekend are to improve of courses. I really want to better my swim and my bike.   I want my first transition to be under 4 which sounds lame but it's a long painful run to the transition and I still kind of suck at this first transition so yes I want to improve but I don't expect a miracle.

Here go some specific goals.
Swim - Between 11 and 12 minutes (400 yards - last year 12:28)
T1 - under 4 ( a long run over sharp stones - last year 4:27)
Bike - Between 49 and 51.  (12 hilly miles - last year 52:19)
T2 - Less than 1:45 ( last year 1:48)
Run - Between 25 and 26. (2.7 miles  - last year 25:19)

Total - Between 1:34 and 1:36. (last year 1:36:21)

And of course as always I expect to have fun which I totally will because I so love triathlons and I meeting college friends in my college town and it will be awesome!  Hope your weekends are shaping up to be outstanding too!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Last week at the inservice at our local high school what did I see out in the hall? What do I not like to see even outdoors? What does not ever belong in a school hallway?  If you are thinking snake you are completely correct. Fortunately I was seeing it from the safety of my seat in another room but still.  

I know that this is not a really bad thing on a scale but I have lost my favorite coffee cup.  In fact I think I left it on the table I was sitting at when I saw the snake so I am blaming it on the snake. I was so distracted I forgot it. I HATE losing a cup I really like.

Sticking with the inservice theme although I wasn't aware that was where I was going with this post I was talking to a friend I rarely see. He told me that I am the most athletic person he knows of our age. Okay. I'll take that as the compliment it was intended to be.  This friend was on a varsity team in every season as many of my friends were. I didn't make sports teams and was very envious of my friends in the varsity club which I could not join. I eventually got my varsity letter once a ski team was started.  That makes sense that I would get a letter in a sport that wasn't as much a team sport as a life long sport.
This friend was telling me what he is now doing to get in better shape looking at me for affirmation that he is on the right path.  I felt quite good and proud to be seen in such a way.

Last but far from least I had a very good first day of school.  I know it can be a "honeymoon" but I'll take it and hope to have more. I love seeing my kids from last year and meeting new ones.  Today they all worked well together.  A huge yay!

These days iced coffee is rocking my world.  It's my go 
to treat after my afternoon workouts.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

So Very Close

August 27

Run 10 miles

Bike 10.9 miles

My bikes and runs are not usually so close. Usually I run the minimum I do (4 miles) except for one longer run which was today.  I rarely bike my minimum miles (10) but today I did.  So they were close.

I ran 9 miles not too long ago and it was a fine run. Even a good one. Today!  OMG!  I was figuring the number of miles left on my third mile and I knew that wasn't good. I had water with me which I didn't have on the 9 mile run.  I couldn't wait to get to the turn around and at least be on the second half.  I even sped up for a little bit then but it didn't last.  Truthfully it was hard but I never thought I couldn't do it. I was a bit surprised at how much I was sweating. The brim of my hat was DRIPPING as if it was raining. When I got home I was soaking wet and I do mean soaking.  I got my clothes off and went up and laid down on my bed for about an hour. I had nothing to give.  I closed my eyes and read. I thought of all I needed to do but I just couldn't get up.

Eventually I did and went on a bike ride. I know. I'm nuts. But today was a day I could fit it in.  But I did go a short distance and I didn't push. It was fine. When I got back I felt completely fine and showered and changed and went into school for those last minute things I needed to do before the first day tomorrow.  (school dreams tonight)

The only reason I'm doing long runs is because I am signed up for a half at the end of September.  With two tris coming up and work starting I'm not going to fit many more long runs in.  Why do I keep signing up for halves I don't adequately train for?  I have asked myself this a lot in the last few months.  The sprained ankle really threw a wrench into my plans.  So back to thinking about those halves.
Here are some positive things I can think about doing them.

Tris are only in the summer so I can't do  a lot of them.  Halves can fill that void.
I love to race.
I love being able to run 13 miles in a respectable time.
I like to travel for races and halves seem to be a good distance to travel for.
If you are racing somewhere scenic you can see a lot in a half.
I like medals.
I love ten milers but there aren't many of them around me.
I'm getting to where I am okay to race for fun.

Now onto the negative.
Training for  halves in the warmer seasons takes time away from biking.

Well, the positive outweighs the negative so for now I'll continue some halves. Although I don't plan to sign up for 5 next year.

Shipyard the half that almost killed me.
At least it will be much cooler at 
the end of September.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

What a Great Day - A Race and a Ride!

The morning started out with a 5K on Lake Champlain.  Jameson was helping to run it so both my husband and I went.  The temperature was perfect and the scenery on Lake Champlain always pleases. Flat too!  Wow!  Yesterday I was in a stuffy classroom getting ready for the year. Today was much better!

This race raises money to help make homes more handicapped accessible.  Zoe (Zoe's Race) fell in a pool as a young child and her life and that of her family changed drastically.  They  had to change their home to accommodate her needs and now work each year to help at least one family do the same.

A great race with all the Vermont members of our family there.

My husband and I coming in at the end.

Lots of good food, including Ben and Jerry's!

Jameson and I both won our age groups.  Being 60 rocks! And 
I wasn't the only one!

I was in the top half but there were walkers and others who don't race a lot.  I was 1/5 in my age group.  My time was 29:07. The individual miles were from 9:02 - 9:48.  Better than I have done in awhile. In fact I just looked and it is better than I have done all year.  I knew it felt better but was disappointed - briefly - it was 29 something.  But it did feel good, I felt I gave it a great effort and my family was there. As I have said - it was a GREAT DAY!

I went and got Jaxon for Jameson who was helping to break everything down.  I changed so I could head out on the bike path.  I was right here after all.  Sunday is not the ideal time for a peaceful ride but I tried to stay calm and watch VERY carefully as people are not predictable at all.  Even the causeway was crowded. I had not thought about the fact that the bike ferry runs on Sundays to get people across the cut from one county to another.  I briefly thought about taking it just for the heck of it but I didn't really want to and once out there found out it cost $8.00, too much to spend for my purposes.  But I sat there on the rocks for a long time just loving the day.  
Above and below the two bike ferries.  You can see the
bikes better below.

This guy had his own bike ferry come and the guy in the 
rowboat rowed him a long way. In fact I never saw where they 
did end up stopping.

I loved this county sign out in the middle of the lake on the
causeway.  I had never noticed it before.

A stop on the bike path to enjoy the day.

A nice t shirt and a medal for an age group win.  Score!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Three Tiny Things Thursday

1. Back at work and already finding it hard to fit all the workouts in and carry all the bags needed. This week isn't as hard as it will be because we can arrive slightly later with no students yet.  But once tris stop (2 1/2 weeks ) I'll slow down just a little.  You do have to be dedicated to get the training in and I'm going to say, "Yes, I am.  It's getting done."

2.  Today I ran in the morning and planned to bike after work.  I got there, changed clothes, put on sunscreen, all that stuff and went to put on my shoes. I had not packed socks. I tend to keep extra running socks here and there so I started looking around. I was just about to give up when I checked my school messenger bag and there were some in there. Every time I see them in there they look rather odd to me but hey- I knew I'd need them at some point.  (And I've already replaced them)  It was an outstanding excellent ride in great temperatures, beautiful scenery and a decently hard effort on my part.  It's made for a short evening at home but it was worth it.

3. Work.  
  • Overwhelmed the first day with all I have to do in spite of going in a lot last week.
  • Seeing colleagues is always a plus.  Love love love my team.
  • Tired and grumpy yesterday at the realty that I have to earn a paycheck and vacation is done.
  • Meetings meetings meetings today where people used 10,500 words where a mere 100 would have made the point.  Frustrating when there is so much to do to waste time.
  • A workshop this afternoon that was fantastic!  Very concrete plans for teaching writing (Lucy Calkins - newest books) that most of us are on board with and it is very exciting.  Writing is the trickiest thing for me to teach so I love that we are following a plan. My team is going to meet on a regular basis to compare notes, share ideas, and see how it is going.  Whew.
I'm going to hit publish even though it is still Wednesday as I plan to be up and out of here early tomorrow - no time for the computer.  One minute turns into ten.

 I have no pictures to post. So maybe I'll see if I can find a sky diving one I haven't shared.
We had this group thing we always do where we share something from the summer. I bet you can guess what I shared.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer is Ending!!!

After jumping out of an airplane everything else seems a little grey.  I feel a little bit like I did after my first marathon - worrying that all the rest of my marathons wouldn't be as good. Well I don't know that any quite had the excitement of the first one but the rest were pretty special. So I'm sure future sky dives will be too. How could they not be?

I managed to run 9 miles on Sunday. I do have a half marathon at the end of September I need to be able to run.

I got several bike rides in and I'm still fitting in swimming because I have two more tris!  Yay!

One bike ride was a new one I drove to.  I expected to be running alone but there was a ride going on for motorcycles (who went farther) and cyclists who were going on the route I had the map for.  They waved me in so I had company for most of the ride.  I didn't use the aid stops etc. as I had not paid but it was nice to have more cyclists around.  It was a 40 mile loop that I would not do again. It was my least favorite Vermont ride I have done. There was nothing special to see and the road was in tough shape at times from flash floods this summer.  But I wanted to try new routes and how will I know if I like them without going on them?  The ride was to raise money for end of life care at a local hospital. There were spectators with thank you signs and much appreciation shown at various parts of the route.

This is Vermont's version of abandoned vehicles - a tractor and a milk tanker.

Today, my last official day of vacation, I took an awesome bike ride. I took part of this route a week ago or so with a friend. Today a different  friend went with me and we extended it to 40 miles.  We rode it as an out and back rather than a loop.  You see completely different stuff in the other direction which amazed me.  It also seemed like we were doing a of downhill on the way so the way back would be rather hard. That wasn't the case at all.  We rode to Montpelier, our state capital, and had a snack on the front lawn as well as using the restroom in the Capitol building.  Just a bit fancier than what we often use.  It was a great day! I came home and got stuff done around the house, totally relaxing on my last day home.

A beautiful day to ride to our state capital.

The door we went through to use building with the restroom.  A step
up from our usual bathroom stops.

A pretty spot on the Mad River on the way back.

Trying to get pictures here was hard. It's a busy bridge!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My First But Not My Last Sky Dive

Why skydive?  I have always stated that I wouldn't mind doing it and the opportunity kind of became possible this summer. I decided I would do it to celebrate turning 60. Even though I said this I did nothing about it until just before my birthday when I finally made the reservation.  The family who owns the business has kids in our school so  I knew but didn't really know them.  But there was a connection of sorts.

We arrived at the field just before 6 pm on the evening of my jump. A few friends were coming to watch. I wish I had invited more people but it didn't really occur to me that many people would want to come.  But those that did had a great time and others have said they wish they had come.

First you get about a 20 minute talk on what to expect and do. Well first you sign your life away - hopefully not literally.

Then you start to get geared up.  Jaxon wasn't too thrilled when I first had the jump suit on and seemed a little leery of me.  My husband decided he was going to ride along in the plane but everyone else was staying on the ground. So in the plane would be myself, my husband, the pilot, my sky diving guide, and a guy who just wanted to jump.

The flight to get to 12000 feet took about 20 minutes. It was a beautiful ride and it was fun to look at all the familiar sights from a different perspective.  I still wasn't nervous although the thought of the plane door opening was in the back of my mind......always. I had asked Ole (the guy I was diving with)  if anyone ever chickened out at that stage and he said, "Well if you say no, I hear go and off we go."  Yes!  I wouldn't have to work up my nerve, he would take care of it.
This is before the jump.  I look just a little bit excited.  The guy behind me is doing a solo jump.

Now I need to move toward the open door.  When you get there you balance your feet on something.  It's not easy with the wind plus it was very cold.  I really is not easy to balance your feet.  In fact it is impossible!

I'm still smiling but I can't quite believe I am choosing to do this.  Going out that open door into the clouds does not seem possible.  If it was up to me I would still be sitting there but I heard Ole counting to 3 and then there was a forward motion and we are out of the plane.

My cousin told me when he did it 15 years ago they had to pry his fingers off the door sides.
Maybe that is why they have you cross your arms now.  

This is my OH SHIT moment.  I'm not so sure any more but there is no turning back.  

The free fall is completely awesome. It lasts about 45 seconds. I would have no idea of the time other than that I was told that ahead of time.  We were going 120 M.P.H.  He had told me to keep my chin up and arms out.

Then Ole pulls the first parachute???  not sure of the right terms and we slow down and it's time to look around.  The photographer comes to me and grabs my hands - to get some close ups.  I really liked this part a lot.  This lasted a decent amount of time.
To say it was gorgeous was putting it mildly and yes I could enjoy it and look around.  If you look closely you will see I am smiling widely in almost every picture. When I watched the video last night with some friends, I must have said 30 times, "It was so much fun."

He pulled something down to let me steer a little. At least I think this was when it was. I need to do it again to figure out when things happened.

You begin to be able to see through the clouds. We did some fun turns but no flips.  I almost wanted to but didn't want to get nauseous.  

At this point Ole is tapping my shoulder as a reminder to look at the altimeter on my wrist.  When it is at 5(5000 feet)  I am to pull the ripcord (but if I don't he will.)  

When I pulled the ripcord would have been my next Oh Shit moment and I dare say I screamed. You are yanked upward rather suddenly before it stops and you begin to descend.  
Our goal is to land near the flag.  I am told to keep my feet up. This landing worries me as much as anything as I do not want to jam my feet into the ground and mess up my ankle again.

Gorgeous. This is where I do a lot of biking.

You land butt first and slide in.  

 I cannot adequately describe how wonderful this jump was. I CANNOT wait to go another one. This is not going to be a one time thing. It may be awhile but I will go again.

It was very special to have Jameson there to be part of it.  It did emphasize how far away Emily is but I've been lucky she's been close by for so many years.

My husband is back down from his airplane ride which he loved.  It was a great evening for all of us.

There is also a video that came with all the still pictures.We'll see if I can insert it. If not the link will be here.

Then there was a keg of Switchback which everyone had been drinking while I was flying.  It was the best beer I have had in my life!