Tuesday, June 30, 2009
You are the greatest, (my name).
You are the best and the coolest.
You surprise us every single day.
This is not a test. Do not adjust your settings.
You have nothing to prove.
There's no one to thank but yourself.
The rest of the day, and your life, are on me.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Elphaba Thropp is my beautiful bike. She is a Specialized Dolce and very sweet. We are still getting to know each other but so far, we work very well together. She has been very patient with me and for that I love and care for her as best I can – which is not much now (according to the annoyingly cheery bike mechanics at the cycle shop – WHO ASKED YOU? Do the job and shut it!) but I do promise as I learn and grow she will fare better and better.
And so will I.
Elphaba Thropp is the name of the Wicked Witch of the West in Gregory Maguire’s book,
“ Wicked”. This is the book that the Broadway musical was inspired by. I love how he expanded and explained her character and made her a heroine of sorts in the story.
OK, so bear with me here ....“Wicked” is the explanation of what was really happening in Oz during the timeframe of the movie “The Wizard of Oz”. In the original movie the neighbor that hated Dorothy and Toto - Ms Almira Gulch – was, in Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West. In Oz she rode a broom, but in Kansas , she rode a bicycle – while she was riding they played this very funny (to me) menacing music.
I don’t ride a broom – not in public anyway – and I don’t consciously know any exterrestrials who can make my bike soar, but Elphaba is the closest I will get to flight under my own steam. And; you can say I am a witch on a bicycle or a bitch on a bicycle. You are probably correct. In which case – watch your back!
Elphaba is my bike. And that is how she got her name. If you still don’t get it, you aren’t ready.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Ride the painted pony indeed. One killer week of she-ra is followed by a week of ...just OK workouts. First, it has rained every frickin morning this month, practically. I appreciate the cool start to the day, but rain? And the low barometric pressure has me knocked out. So the two a days have dropped off somewhat.
I had a video analysis of my swimming done this week - turns out that this swim coach is also a tri coach and triathlete himself. He has an endless pool and exercise studio in his basement...can you say ssssssweeeeeett! Anyway, there are few greater horrors in my reality than seeing myself on film....two of those greater horrors being Thing One and Thing Two ( my fattass thighs). Underwater, in a swimsuit, on film.
OK, so apparently the only thing I do right is turn my head for breathing and how I hold my head - I am also pretty streamlined. Thats about it. I will be taking a daylong workshop with him at the end of the month, I am praying it makes a significant improvement and that I did that little bit of exposure and humiliation for a good reason.
Earlier that day, I was going for my first 2000 yd swim - until I broke my swim cap. I was feeling so good! I know I can get there again however, and I will - hopefully this time in good form. I must now scrounge around for another Speedo long hair swim cap - the only non permeable thing that covers all my hair (and head, for that matter)
If I were flush, I woudl get one of those underwater MP3 players. It would be transcendent to listen to, say Debussy or Errol Garner while swimming!
Last weeks great runs were this week's terrible runs. Terrible, felt like absolute crap. My legs are tight from all the time on the trainer on Elphaba. She has been skipping some gears while I am riding, so she was taken back to the bike store where they tuned her up pretty good and refreshed me on basics - like, how much pressure her tires should have.
I did get some gear this week - a pair of tri shorts and a bike jersey. The padding in the shorts are not as much as it could be, leaving my lady parts (heh heh..she said lady parts) feeling like wood. They have this sticky grippy thing around the top of my thighs that keep them from rolling up, which is pretty cool. I am so greatful that there are more modest lengths thatI can wear.
I took Elphaba out for a nice group ride at a park on Saturday morning - we did two loops of a path that leads to the beach - for a total of just under 18 miles. It wasnice. I didnt bring my running sneax, otherwise I would have joined them for a little run afterwards. The other ladies have all done tris before, so I am greatful thatthey let me ride with them and I can listen to their conversations and soak up useful information - like; the pool swim masters was meeting at is no longer closed!!!!!!
Today I am taking a day off - I may stretch or do strength, but I generally see some quality issues (cycle excluded) so I am pulling back. This gives me time to do other things like clean my house...pull weeds...wash clothes...cook food....talk to my friends....all the things I have been neglecting these last several weeks!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I did doubles every day, and was in the pool four times for sessions ranging from 700 – 1300 yards – a lifetime of swimming for me. I did three runs averaging 4 ½ miles each (one of them on the beach – hallelujah) and spent considerable time on the trainer – I am shooting for an hour per session on the trainer until I can get back outside. I also managed some weight training, too.
I wish I had more time to train. While it is difficult I love doing this work! It is a nice distraction from almost everything else in life – I did not anticipate how all consuming this can be. But; in a pretty good way.
Interesting – I think that now I have increased my load in the last week, my appetite has decreased. No more bear out of hibernation starvies right now, I am pretty cool. Maybe I can lose some of this junk in my trunk and get faster.
I took a swim class over a year ago, and what I find amusing is that there are many techniques my instructor was attempting to show me back then that I am JUST NOW understanding what he meant. Keeping my head low low into the water …sculling….swimming on my side….I am such a dunce. All of these epiphanies have not made me any whit faster, mind you, but it’s all good.
PBS always shows its best stuff when it is having a fund drive…last week it was Stevie Wonder in London, and an Evening with David Foster. This weekend, it was Dr Wayne Dyer, Excuses Begone. Wow. Talk about what I need to hear at the time I need to hear it. It was a long and informative program, and at the end he stated 18 common excuses people use and affirmations to defeat them Many of them resonated deeply with me and apply directly to this endeavor! Talk about Synchronicity. Here's a few:
It will be difficult
I have the ability to accomplish any task I set my mind to with ease and comfort.
It’s going to be risky
Being Myself involves no risks. It is my ultimate truth and I live it fearlessly.
No One Will Help Me (one already proven wrong many times!)
The right circumstances and the right people are already here and will show up on time.
I’m Too Scared:
I can accomplish anything I put my mind to, because I know that I am never alone.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I carefully planned out everything I would need, and I did well on that at least. I found the place also, which was STUNNING a state park with rolling hills and a huge lake with a beach and all kinds of pretty flora and fauna.
The instructor was super nice and informative, and I guess the participants were friendly enough. It seems as if everyone has done a tri before, even though it has been awhile for some people. We got into our wetsuits and went into the lake for a swim, and damn.
It was as if I hadn't done a swim before. I don't like this open water thing - we were all over the place, I kept losing my bearing, I couldn't breathe. I was panicking that I could not see. Ugh. It was like one of those dreams where you are running but you get nowhere…
Then came the bike.
We changed, hopped on our bikes, and right off I was the last out of the lot. I didn’t care - I don't mind tailing folks cuz I am strong right? These fatass thighs should be good for something. But apparently not. I and another person overshot the turnaround, and wound up sailing down a steep hill to the highway.
Which means there was a steep hill to climb and come back up. We rode up the hill aways, and at one point I had to get off. I was correctly geared, but I just could not make the climb. Me! We finally made it to a certain point – after about an hour, seemed like – and here comes our instructor who finally decided to see if we were dead. He showed us how to get back to a certain point, and then took us RIGHT BACK DOWN THE HILL to a certain point, and then turned us around. To make the same frickin climb I couldn’t finish the first time. We made it up to a certain point, and I had to get off again. It was unbelievable! Now, I could have jogged up the hill. As the class passed me one by one, they were barely going faster than I was walking, but hey they were doing it. I just couldn’t.
Eventually my cheery instructor looped back to see what the problem was with me THIS time, and I bravely told him I was ok, as I huffed and puffed my way up the hill on foot. He said that they would wait for me, which I begged him not to do- but they did wait for me, and I was mortified. Of course one of the sally stringbeans was saying “Oh, this isn’t a long workout” and he was explaining that the course didn’t need to be long, that if thought hey were so great they should do hill repeats. I am sure if I were not there he would have said we almost killed that one, so we CAN’T do anything more difficult.
I would have cried tears of frustration, shame and humiliation if I weren’t so exhausted.
We still had to run, but fortunately it was just a drill. I can already see that everyone – everyone – is faster than me, even for just that parking lot jog. I was stripped when class was finally done.
The next class isn’t for two weeks. That gives me ample time to decide if I even want to come back. I don’t want to be the one that holds everyone back or that everyone has to wait for. I also don’t know if I can do this. Fundamentally, after that swim, I just don’t know.
I feel so crappy.