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July 2007
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September 2007

Posts from August 2007

Back to School

Yes, it's lovely that the NYU kids are back in town, but do they have to travel in packs of a dozen or more, taking over the sidewalk?!?  I really wanted to start throwing elbows last night as I was trying to navigate my way home, carrying bags of groceries.  Grrrr.

Tee Hee

Ah the joy of Neighborhoodies -- you can print whatever you want on a t-shirt, sweatshirt, tank, or various and sundry other clothing item as well as on accessories like tote bags.  My latest order just arrived last night.  Let's just say that I got something printed on an item or two of clothing that will cause a chuckle from at least one person who sees me wear them (if they actually see me wear them) -- it also just cracks me up.  I still have yet to order the "Girls Poop" baseball tees.

Castles in the Sand


Well, although I didn't participate other than by taking pictures and bringing (very strong) cocktails down to the beach, this weekend's sand castle competition certainly managed to have an impact on me -- that night I dreamed that a friend had bought a giant chocolate sand castle as a gift for another friend (he had bought me a gift as well, so I was happy).  Caroline cooked a delicious Haitian meal, I went on my first run since the triathlon (only about 3 instead of the usual 4), and I certainly had my share of belly laughs, many inspired by a re-interpretation of a scene from the 40 Year Old Virgin.  If you haven't watched it lately, you really should.  The pictures from the weekend are here.

Stuff Galore!


It's like Christmukkah around here!  Last night I returned from the Mets game with Rachel and the Lovely Miss Katie to find many packages waiting for me.  I recently redeemed most of my Citibank debit card rewards points and the goods just rolled in.  In addition to last night's Harry Potter, I got a set of Bose headphones, a shredder (I am oddly excited about this one), and an ice cream maker (woo hoo!).  I did promise myself, however, that I would rid myself of some old stuff to make room for the new -- I've got two boxes ready to clear out some of my shoe collection in the near future.  I have also decided, assuming my lease is renewed, that I will attempt to participate in the Apartment Therapy Eight Week Cure this fall -- it's about time my apartment had a little more style to it, not to mention a lot less clutter.

Toss Up

Which makes me more of a dork -- the fact that when we played "Stray Cat Strut" on the jukebox last night, I uttered the phrase "I did a baton-twirling routine to this once," or the fact that when I arrived home to find the latest Harry Potter had arrived in my mailbox, I let out an audible squeal?  Unclear.

P.S.  -- Nathan was on the Colbert Report on Monday night -- check it out!

And, She Did It!


Well, ladies and gentlemen, I survived my first triathlon.  As we drove to West Point at 6 am on Sunday, we saw a rainbow, which I interpreted as a good sign.  I was with my friend Gary (pictured with me above) -- we've known each other for more than half our lives at this point, from back in the day at band camp.  We arrived, picked up our race packets, then off to body marking (you get your number written on both upper arms and upper thighs, and your age is marked on your right calf -- I found this to be very interesting when I passed people or when people passed me on the bike and run).  My Mom and stepdad were there for support -- Stephen was volunteering to help out at the race that day so he had the honors of decorating me with my number (106). 

After setting up my transition area, I wandered down to the lake to check out the water temperature -- glad I did.  Although it was cool outside, the water was like a bathtub.  I decided to skip the wetsuit.  I started chatting with some other women in my swim heat (the starts are staggered by gender and age), and, once I told them about my fear of getting kicked in the face during the swim, they recommended that I stick to the back of the heat and the side -- I took their advice.  Aside for some leakage in my left goggle and a bit of lake drinking, the swim went fine.  I wasn't kicked anywhere important, and only got jammed up in "traffic" once or twice.  As I finished and ran up the beach, I checked my watch -- 12 minutes.  I thought something might be wrong -- I never swam 800m that fast -- and in talking to others later, there was a general consensus that the swim seemed short.  Whatever. 

On I went to the bike transition.  Swim cap and goggles off, socks, bike shoes, shirt, sunglasses, gloves and helmet on, and off I went.  The bike was 25km of rolling hills, so I pushed hard on the flats and downhills and accepted the slowing on the uphills.  As I biked, I found two songs going through my head -- these songs often seem to get into my head on long bike rides.  Spinning Wheel, by Blood, Sweat and Tears, on some of the hills (what goes up, must come down), and Hold the Line, by Toto (not relevant at all to the terrain, but a good pace for grinding up hills and for general race stress, according to some).

After the bike, I switched into running shoes, swapped the helmet for a visor, and lost the gloves and sunglasses.  At this point, for a little extra boost, I ate a Clif Shot gel -- I had trouble opening it so it oozed all over the place, but I managed to ingest enough to get me going a bit.  I washed it down and it was off to the 5km run, which started, of course, with an uphill.  The run was quite hilly, and I was tired at this point.  But I kept on plodding along -- this was the last leg of the race, and I'd be damned if I wasn't going to finish it.  A few things kept me going.  The run had some switchbacks, so I ran into Gary as I was starting out and he was coming back from the first switchback -- we called out to each other, and slapped high fives.  That pumped me up a bit.  Next, I ran into one of the women I had met at the swim start, and we chatted some before she pulled ahead of me.  Finally, around the second mile, I fell into pace with a woman, so we chatted through the end.  In addition to doing the tri that day she is training for a marathon in October, so she had done a 16 mile run the day before. Yikes!  Thanks to Carolyn, wherever you are, for distracting me during the last half of the run.  I saw Mom and Stephen near the end, and they gave me a huge cheer.  As I ran up to the finish, I glanced at the official clock, which read 1:57.  I was so happy to finish in under two hours!  Carolyn pointed out to me that my time would be even better than that, once they calculated for the staggered start times.

Exhausted, proud, and hungry, I was pretty much in a daze the rest of the morning and for my trip back into the city.  By 1pm I was back home on my couch.

My official time was 1:42:52 -- 11:59 for the swim, 53:16 for the bike, 30:42 for the run, and the rest transition.  Thanks to all who have supported me along this journey, with special thanks to my family, my trainer, Rodez, my swim class teacher, John, Jimmy, for paddling across the lake twice while I swam and for my swim/run, Frank, for the brick (bike/run), Hannah for the wetsuit, all the well-wishers along the way (your calls, texts, and emails really meant so much to me), and for the Lovely Miss Katie, who planned the celebration party.  My favorite tri-related comment goes to my brother, who said something like "who would have thought that you would be the first person in our family to do a triathlon?"  Yes, it's true, my siblings are quite a bit more athletic than I am.  See you guys at the next triathlon!

The Final Countdown

I think it's finally sinking in that I'm actually doing a triathlon on Sunday.  I feel ready, for the most part, but am still very nervous.  I've heard the course is very hilly and a decent chunk of my competition will be military cadets.  I'm not looking to win or anything -- just to finish without incident.  Sure, I'll push myself, especially on the bike segment (which turns out to be slightly longer than I remembered), but my goal is just to finish.

Out of the blue yesterday, I got a package from a woman I know through work -- we've served on a committee together for years.  The package contained two bags of handmade Italian pasta and a very sweet note wishing me luck.  It was a complete and utter surprise and was very touching, but it did really hit this thing home for me, and made me realize that it's real, and that, no matter what, I've got to get through it.

That said -- I need all the luck I can get, so bring it!