Sunday, September 30, 2007

Maybe This Year...

If you never thought you would buy 'clothing' at the dollar store, then maybe you've never had a kid that refuses to wear a hat and is too old for hats with straps. Rather, let's be honest, his head is too big and actually, he's too clever for velcro. But for a buck, this'll be a good test. So far, at least tonight, he wanted to wear his New Hat all the time. Even to bed. I think he looks like a bada$$ too... heheh.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I did a Triathlon!!! (and post # 100!)


This past Sunday, September 23, I competed in the 5th Annual Finger Lakes Triathlon. I succeeded in NOT finishing dead last, and that was Goal #1. I also succeeded to finish in under 2 hours and 30 minutes, Goal #2. Oh yeah, and [Life] Goal #3:
... So i think i'm all set for a while in that department.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, with deep blue skies, warm sun, and cool breezes on Canandaigua Lake. WOW!

I raced in what is called a "Sprint Distance" triathlon. That means it is a 1/2 mile swim, 12-13 mile bike and 5K (3.1 mi) run, in that order. It's in that order for a reason: it would not be safe for one to swim last after exhaustion sets in. If one is going to collapse, doing so out of water and off of a bike is the best time.

I got up at 4:30am, after not sleeping a wink. Showered, dressed (for the day), packed, etc. By 5am, i was out the door. Luckily the hotel was minutes from the race site. First of my priorities was to find someone with a bike pump. I was prepared to embarassingly admit to anyone that i was unable to inflate my skinny road tires (the valve is different than your standard bike tire) and that i needed help ASAP. A dude running a bike tent helped me out. Thank God. That said, however, throughout the prep time before the race, I heard several 'cries for help' over the loudspeaker. Someone needed running shoes, size 7 womens. Someone else needed a BIKE. Someone else lost their race number. Someone else couldn't FIND their bike (WHAT?!?!?). It was during all these announcements that my deflated tires didn't seem so dumb afterall.

While waiting for my wave of the swim, I soaked in the sights. There were more than 1000 athletes combined for all events, which included "Olympic" length (twice as long as the Sprint), and Relay (three individuals do one leg each of a tri). Look at all our colored latex heads! It was the first time i had 1) worn a swim cap and 2) worn a wetsuit to swim in. I had worn a wetsuit for white water rafting in college once. Not quite the same. I was also fascinated by all the different body types. Of course there were a ton of folks with The Athletic Physique. But then there was a guy wearing tiger striped speedos. There was a chick wearing, i kid you not, a Hawaiian print string bikini. Remember, 98% of the crowd is wearing a wetsuit, for good reason - the water is chilly! There were some super skinny people and a couple folks that were VERY LARGE. It was comforting to stand among a true assortment of fellow ATHLETES!

It was just about now that i heard a vaguely familiar voice yelling "Telford... yo Telford!" HOPE WAS IN THE CROWD, within hugging reach!!! Just what i needed. It was just 8 o'clock and i still had to wait another 10 before emmersing myself, along with about 30 other women in my age group (35-39), into Canandaigua Lake. Soon enough, we did, and i heard the announcer yell 'GO!'

I went to a tri clinic 2 weeks before race day. It was in that clinic that i learned a swim maneuver called "dolphining." It is when you dive shallowly, and forward, arms overhead, to advance in the water while still being able to touch the bottom. Dive, touch, stand, dive, touch, stand, etc. For the distance we had to swim, I was able to touch 75% of the time. I dolphined that entire time and passed several gals already swimming. It was also somewhat less taxing on the lungs than 'real swimming' and it was perfectly legal. i wasn't alone in doing this. Closer to the buoys, however, swimming was the only option. i am not the best of FAST swimmers, so i chose the breast stroke for most of it. The sun was directly in our faces on the turnback section, which was a little tricky - i just followed the shadow of flailing arms/legs. Close to shore, i stood and walked while peeling the top portion of my wetsuit. I turned my head to see 15 or so gals still in the water. That felt GOOD to see!

Then you get to the Transition Area. This where you switch between each leg of the race. I peeled the rest of the wetsuit off, sat down and put on socks for the bike ride (a lot of people do not bother with socks. It's too time consuming. You are also timed for how long your transitions are). Since i was not out to hurry, i was able to gather my bearings, take one more sip of the mornings' OJ, and get on the bike and go.

GOOD GOD, the first part of the bike was a total b*tch. It's an ever upward climbing hill with seemingly no end in sight. I was not prepared for this kind of hill coming right off of a half mile swim. So, sadly, i had to get off the bike and push it for about 20 yards. I wasn't alone in doing this either. Soon enough, though, i was back on with renewed energy and that's when the bike leg got fun. Several mini hills, very doable, but the views were AWESOME. You can imagine it - rolling greenery, deep blue lake to my right, farm houses... just really nice. AND I WAS PASSING FOLKS! It's a really good feeling to be passing someone, i discovered, in a race like this. Makes me feel strong! The downhills were PHENOMENAL. I'm sure i was pushing 60 on at least one of them. I imagined hitting a stone and completely wiping out, but that didn't happen and i gained some time.

Got back, got off the bike (wobbly! eek!) and really, honestly, dreaded the run ahead of me. My knees were a little sore from some of the uphills of the bike, and i'm just a really weak runner. So for the next 49 minutes, i walked 60% of the time, and jogged the other 40. I only passed one woman once, but she was 54 (i knew this by the marking on the back of her leg - we were all marked that way) and having cramping issues i think. Otherwise, i was being passed. And it was hard. I definitely could have pushed myself to the point of exhaustion and sheer pain, but i was not out to do that. I was out to FINISH, not kill myself.

And so i did just that. Finished! Crossing the finish line was a hoot. There was Katie and Dave and their kids from Philly!!! There was Hopey and Ron and Sam!!! There was Natalie!!! The announcer says, "And here comes Christine Telford from Corning, NY - - Way to go girl!" That made me smile. Then there was some random lady cheering me on: "Way to go Christine!" That made me laugh out loud, and the announcer said, ".... and she's STILL smiling!" I really would love to see my finish line photo... hopefully they captured that smile.

I only [ALMOST] cried once, talking to Katie. "How do you feel!?!?" "Wow... um... really good!" It felt overwhelming in a rushed way for about 3.5 seconds. Then i was just happy. Proud. Amazed that i actually followed thru on one of the MANY MANY things i mostly just TALK ABOUT. Yeah. Good stuff.

..... and now i'm training for the next one. Triathlon #2's Goal: Being able to run the whole time. None of this walking stuff! ;-)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I feel like a superhero!

Call me Aqua Girl! Here i am trying on my wetsuit rental for this weekend's triathlon. To my utter amazement, i managed to get the suit on with very little struggle despite it looking (and actually being, really) MUCH SMALLER than my actual size. It feels very constrictive on, which is the point. It actually diminishes the appearance of my two buddha rolls! Maybe i'll wear one all the time! You can't at all be the slightest bit moist (read: sweaty) when putting it on or its a no go. And you better get it on fast before the Sweat of the Struggle sets in as well. I hope to he** i have an equally easy time putting it on the morning of. I can easily freak in a situation like this - best start the mantras NOW.... ;-)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Daily Cubby Note 8/30/07

"While the children were sitting at circle time, Sam was at the table with me doing a puzzle. It was a puzzle of lower case letters. Sam needed no help with it. He finished half of the alphabet puzzle by the end of circle time. I was very proud of him. Outside, Sam helped the adults take EVERY toy out of the playhouse so that later this afternoon carpet can be installed inside the house. Also, while outside, he tracked the movements of an inch worm. He was very fascinated by it. Have a great night, Lisa."

Oh to be a fly on the wall to watch Sam do his thing when Mama isn't around...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Marking the End of Summer with a Hoorah!

Yesterday, we were invited to an End of Summer Party up in Geneva. Shawn and Janet are initially friends of our friend Bill, but we've grown to be friendly with them directly. It was a really nice time. Kerry and her family were there, as well as Bill. I brought Natalie along and she had a great time as well; unfortunately, Ron had to work. Sam won the hearts of everyone he met,
with his smile and giggles and excitement for hitting T-Ball for the first time (with my help!). There were a ton of kids all under the age of 4. Sam loved climbing the stairs up to the super fun hilly slide down! By the end of the evening, as we were saying goodbye, Sam was giving out hugs and kisses to everyone he'd befriended. What a lovey! It was a really nice afternoon. Perfect weather. Autumn is upon us, and I'm THRILLED.