Friday, July 25, 2008

Ta Daa!

Dagny had her last day of camp today. They got medals and got to stand on a podium with them to say "Ta Daaaa" to their friends. Some of the kids were bashful, but not our Dagny. She raised both arms high in the air and yelled "TAA DAAAA" - I could hear her out in the hallway. Gotta love her.

So, yesterday, before our ride I asked Natalie how she got the RSS feed on her blog.

Once upon a time someone wrote "RSS feed. Get one." in the comments here. I don't know who it was but it was a little upsetting. I asked around but no one fessed up and no one explained what an RSS feed was. Then, Nat asked Anne about it on the mom's board. When Anne explained about the RSS feed and the Google Reader a few months back, I did what any good student would do. I checked on my Google and found the "wiki" for RSS feeds. After about two hours of reading, I learned way more than I ever wanted to know about feeds. The long and short of it was that I needed to set up my feed by (1) figuring out my feed address (different from the blog address), (2) uploading said feed link to my blog with some more involved code, and then (3) adding the orange satellite-looking thing or some other icon. There was some sort of debate about the merits of Atom v. RSS feeds. I don't remember which was better.

Anyhow, I ran out of free time that day and did not start the long and involved process.

When Nat explained last night that she just added the icon in the Blogger "Layout" menu, I was sure that was too easy. Not with all of the complicated strings of letters that I read about.

Yeah, so, I was wrong again. The Google folks had already done all of the legwork and code-copying for me. All I had to do was add the feed from the "Add Page Elements" menu. Easy Peasy. AND, it would have been easy to add all of the blogs that I read to my Google Reader with one simple button if I had filled the reader first. Alas, no. I created the blogroll (instead of the link list) first so I had to fill the reader manually. Oops.

But it's done and I'm back in the technology. Enjoy the feeding.

In other news, Annika and I did the ritual new shoe shopping and backpack buying today after the school supply shopping on Wednesday. She is getting pretty darn excited about kindergarten.

I, however, am nervous about the kindergarten. And, the 5.5 hours I slept last night was not enough and I am paying the crabby bill today. GRRR.

Oh, and, Jerry has decided that he wants to do the Kiawah Island Marathon in December. So, Doug, Joe, Kendra and I are joining him. Anyone else up for some lowcountry on December 6? That means that we will miss the Holiday Extravaganza at Annika's school, but I think it will be OK this year. Next year, though, we'd better be there.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Circle of Life

We love the Lion King over here but that is not my topic.

Today, I took a rest day. Sure, I got up at 5 when Doug got up for his ride, but I had breakfast, paid the bills and surfed the internet until the girls got up. We went to church (just Annika, Grammy and me - Dagny stayed with Nana/Papa) and then hung out with my folks for a couple of hours. Then, more bill-paying and tidying. Our house is a complete disaster. I worked out 800 hours last week and that does not lead to a clean house. Then, I accidentally booby-trapped the fridge yesterday so that it avalanched on Doug prior to dinner last night. Ooops.

So today I decided that I would just walk. I sucked my dad into the plan until he realized that it was ridiculously hot and my sister might just stay at his house and hang out with him. So, instead of loading Annika up and heading to the Leita for a walk, I basked in the air conditioning and tidied up our office. I filed, I paid bills, I backed the computer up (it had been a YEAR!), I checked on Jen at Ironman Lake Placid. I watched the Hoyts on the Ironman website, which made me cry. Doug made an awesome dinner and I felt guilty for taking the day off.

Even though I did my 30 mins. I still felt guilty.

That is not right.

Anyway, after dinner, we leashed up the dog and went for a walk. Around the side of our house is an oak tree. This tree had serious caterpillars last year and I noticed an area where the leaves were eaten. Aghast, I went over to take a look. Those bastards had eaten up a whole limb, but I found them. Instead of sacrificing the one branch to the creek like I had planned, Doug carefully twisted it off and carried it with us on our walk.

We skipped the "over the dam" portion of the walk and went over the bridge instead.

So that we could drop the caterpillars one by one (or by the leaf, if you are Dagny) into the creek to the waiting mouths of the hungry fish. Don't you worry. Those caterpillars didn't feel a thing. The fish snapped them up almost before they hit the water.

Two birds. One stone.

So to speak.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Love the Waffle House

So, if you've been at work today, you've probably been forwarded a link to the Gwinnett Post article about the couple that got married at the Waffle House in Dacula - you know, the lone Waffle House that used to sit all by itself in between the turnoff for Hwy 78 in Winder and Athens. Dutifully, I followed the link and read the article after someone sent it to me.

Instead of the amusement and derisive laughter that I heard from down the hall, it made me feel sad. How nasty of the reporter to write a story about this couple's marriage and spin it to make fun of them. I hope they have a long and happy life together and make lots of money at that Waffle House now that they are famous. If you go by there, leave them a big tip.

In happier news, the girls had a blast at Nana and Papa's house while Doug and I drove to Chattanooga for the BMW Chattanooga Waterfront Triathon on Sunday. We had a great time even though we did not post personal bests at this distance. It was a beautiful and well-organized race, even though mother nature threw a wrench (or a big bucket of water) into the works. Here is a link to my BT race report. It was great to see all of the internet (Wes, Kevin and Sarah) and NAMC friends at the race. We had to leave pretty early to pick up the girls, but got to see almost the whole race and it was great to have so many peeps there.

Next up, GA Veterans Sprint race in Cordele. Possibly also the Hansgrohe Women's Sprint in Acworth.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Don't Care Anymooorrre

I love Phil Collins.

Anyway, this morning after I paid the bills and made the lunches and cleaned up the breakfast, I suited up to ride and took the girls to camp. After I dropped Annika off (Dagny was first), I made a quick pitstop at the potty.

Where I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

You know how there are good mirrors? This was a bad one.

And, my relatively-see-thru "Team Bachman" bike jersey was clinging to and lifting up to expose my "expanded to hold a human being twice" belly that was poking out over my pink bike shorts which are not low-rise. Note to the ladies, low rise are WAY more flattering to the post-childbirth belly and they don't press on the tummy to irritate the GI.

I did a double-take and mental "UGH!", finished my business in that room, hopped on my bike (time was limited because there was only 2.5 hrs between drop-off and pick-up time), and zoomed away.

Quick aside: while I loaded my gear onto my bike, I noticed lots of moms and dads dropping off their kids and donning their i-pods for a run. It was really cool. I always wonder why none of the parents that drop kids off to swim at 6am at the pool ever stay to swim. None do. Ever. It's really weird because I would be all over that.

Anyway, while I rode I decided that I didn't care if my gut was hanging out, it was a nice day and I was going to have a good bike. Who gives a crap what anyone thinks about my attire or the fact that I always drop my kids off for school/camp without showering and return to pick them up covered in sweat and dirt. They are just jealous of the fun.

I had an awesome ride (27 miles at 15.25 avg mph and 78 avg cadence) and run (20 mins at 9:10 pace) even if I did have to stop for a potty break. It was either the Accelerade or my tummy is still angry from yesterday. Regardless, the endorphins are flowing well today and all is right with the world. Doug has just announced that we will be having Taco Mac for dinner. I'll be having the nachos and carb-loading with some lovely frosty beverages.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

You Wear Me Out

This morning, Doug stayed home with the girls so that I could go on a long bike ride. I did the 40 mile Roswell Ride with a guy from my tri club. He was very nice and insisted that I wasn't holding him back speedwise - he said it was the blue margaritas he drank last night. So, we did the 40 and he left to go home because of the houseguests. I did 10 more miles on my own after taking a pit-stop at the park. Ladies, men don't ever stop to pee. I just don't understand this but it's true.

Regardless, that's a new world record distance for me. 50 miles! Whoo!

Anyway, after lunch (but still pre-shower), I took the girls to my parents' house because (1) they wanted to see us, (2) I had to pick up the beer cooler, wading pool and slip-n-slide from yesterday's party, and (3) Doug was brewing so I thought it would be good to give him a break. Note to self - no one drank the Hefeweizen. Apparently, no one else likes Hefeweizen either. I thought that we could foist that part of the Sam Adams Summer Pack off on my family because some of the other stuff looked good (Summer Ale, Pale Ale, etc). Not so.

While we are watched the girls run screaming around the house, my dad engaged me in the "wearing your body out" discussion. Again.

Dad: Aren't you worried that all of this activity (running, swimming, biking) will wear your body out prematurely?

Me: [thinking - "wow, I'm really worn out right now so it's not a good time to discuss this"] Well, theoretically maybe, but I think it's far healthier than being a couch potato and gaining weight.

Dad: Yeah, but couldn't you do some research on what happened to people who used to be athletes are doing?

Me: Well, triathlon is a young sport (30 years?) so there aren't that many old triathletes.

Dad: OK, runners then. There are lots of old marathoners. All of that pounding has to wear out your body. The swimming is probably OK.

Me: Sigh. Yeah, I could do some research on that.

So, I tried to do a little reseach on that and there is a lot of info on the internet about what older runners are doing but not much about whether they still run. Except for Jeff Gallaway, of course. I'm sure that www.tri-talk.com has done a show on this so I'll report back if I find anything. In the meantime, I might get Jeff's recent book for dad to read. Too bad I didn't think of it while we were talking. I'm bad with extemporaneous speaking - always have been. That's why I don't do litigation.

Anyway, I'm thinking that even if I have exercise-related problems sometime down the road, thoughtful training (not injuring myself, getting enough to eat and sleep, etc) is probably going to be a better thing for me in the long run than not doing the training. Of course, I do get crazy without my endorphins so that is definitely part of the equation for me. I should have mentioned that too. And the getting to eat whatever I want (within reason) because that is a huge motivator. I'll bet that elite athletes are not thinking about the delicious cereal and coffee or pasta that await them at the end of their long run or swim, but that is definitely what I'm thinking about.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

In the Map

Here is my official race report on BT, but let me just say that the 5K race was awesome. Lake Chatuge is beautiful, the water felt good and I enjoyed the whole experience. I finished, I wasn't last and I finished in under two hours. My super-secret goal was 1 hr 45 minutes - I didn't make that (only 9 minutes off) but I think I could come close to that if I did the race again.

I met some neat folks and it turned out that we all finished within about 2 minutes of each other. I guess hanging around in your bathing suit is self-leveling. In some ways, I'm disappointed that I swam the full 5K ahead of time because it took some of the suspense out of the race. There was no "maybe I won't make it" and no "wow, it will be tough to get to the finish before I run out of energy". Then again, it was a good feeling to be out there in the middle of the lake and have confidence in the knowledge that I could do the distance and not worry about the fact that I was completely alone and there were no boats within 200 yards of me. The boats were continually circling around to keep track of us and make sure we were on course but they weren't always within easy reach.

It was really hard to navigate in the lake. Because I'm so terrible with directions, when following a map I have to turn it in the direction of travel to know whether to turn right or left. Doug and I call that "getting in the map." However, in this race I really was "in the map". I think I'd do better with navigation if I were able to give the route another try - maybe even shave some time off. If anyone thinks about doing this race next year and is willing to practice to get comfy with the distance, I'd love to do the race with you.

In other news, I almost got run over this morning. A Honda Accord came up behind me so closely that my arm hairs got ruffled and I screamed. I knew the car was coming because I heard it but assumed (and you know what that means) that it would stay in the general vicinity of the correct side of the road and safely away from me since I was running facing traffic on the other side. Not so. I don't think I'll be going around the loop in that direction again for a while.

AND, as I started down the home stretch, the dog-walking ladies and I heard tires screech and a crash. A teenager had blasted through the stop sign at the dead end, jumped an earthen berm (and bushes) and hit a tree. The tree actually just stopped her because I think she lost a lot of speed going over the berm. So, I had a sprint to get to the neighbor's house to call the police and then some rest while we waited for the cops. As we waited with the clearly inebriated young girl, the neighbor and I were visibly uncomfortable (we didn't discuss this) with the fact that we were ratting her out. We didn't want her to leave until the cops came but we studiously avoided discussing the idea that we had brought the police into the picture and she was now in really big trouble. The kid wanted to walk up to her friend's house but we discouraged that idea. Should we have let her go (so she could possibly avoid prosecution for the DUI) or kept her waiting for the police with the car? I think I would have wanted my kid to face the consequences with the police but that is just me.