Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Real World

Well, it's finally happened. The real world has taken over my virtual life.

I had my First Date in, oh, five years, with rower guy last Wednesday, after work, downtown. The short version: We met at a bookstore, it was raining, had coffee, he talked about himself and I didn't. He was very nice, but didn't get my jokes. I consider the date a total success because I learned, after much agonizing and e-mailing of girlfriends, that shoes don't matter. It's true!! So it's not like it was a waste of time or anything.

That's one down, 99 men to go!

Then came:

Saturday a.m.: First day of 1/2 marathon training with the newly formed informal DCRR training group. They were doing three miles. It was raining. I ain't driving 20 miles to run three. I turned over and slept til 8.

Spent the entire morning searching for a restaurant for this group
(R to L: Peter, surrounded by women as usual. K., Bex, moi.)
to celebrate Peter and K's Chicago victories, and Bex's new job and visit to D.C. We ended up at Tallulah: modern. hip. classy. That sums us up nicely. But before Saturday night, there was Saturday Noon. In which your heroine drives to the YMCA where she ... JOINS. I have spent months hemming and hawing about where to swim. They have an outdoor year-round pool at this Y and a special deal where the first month and the membership fee was waived. It was a sign.

Saturday night: Pajama party with Bex. It was wild. We might have had cups of tea. Hard to recall.

Sunday morning: Up at 7 a.m. to get ready for the Marine Corps Marathon. Bex had the brilliant idea to give out candy. So we bought six bags of candy and went from Mile 13 to 15 to 21 to 23 to 24—where the death march began.

(Bex is obviously starving. Those runners look perfectly fine!)

("Alms! Alms for the poor!")

("Take some! It's candy! Really! It's good!")

We both got told "I love you" from different runners. (Can't remember if they were male or female. No matter!) Seriously, I was touched by the runners who, at mile 24, while obviously struggling, took the time to say "No thank you" or just "Thank you." Like we were at the dinner table. I mean really. I remember my first marathon at mile 24 and if I'd had a gun ... well, nevermind. Who knew handing out candy could be so fun?? I also handed out words of wisdom because, well, that's how we roll here at NBTR headquarters. You eat the candy, you get the sermon: "This is your race!" "You own this race!" "Make it count!" and my personal favorite: "It's all mental from here!" to which someone said "All runners are mental?" Well, you said it buster, not I. See more pics here.)

From there, Bex and I walked 26.2 miles to another subway; she headed off to visit some other peeps; I headed off to a lead a hike with my church group, along the C&O Canal near Great Falls, which I was NOT looking forward to, but, which of course, turned out to be fun. After the hike it was yet ANOTHER dinner out at the Irish Inn at Glen Echo. I got home just in time to catch the next installment of Mrs. Pritchard—thank God.

Monday 5:30 a.m.: Day One of Triathlon training! Be very afraid. Cuz I was.

There are so many steps along the way to triathlon training that people forget to tell you. Like:
1. Join pool
2. Get bikini wax

So yeah, I forgot #2. Oh well, turns out it's pitch black dark at 5:30. Oh, also there's
3. Buy swim cap
4. Buy goggles.

So I bought 3 and 4 from the guy on duty (I stopped short of #2).

I headed outside in the 45F moonlit morn, and slid into the pool. And dang, if I didn't remember how to swim! I did 15 x 50. Or 30 x 25 (I'm still learning to speak pool). Took about 1/2 hour. I am blind as a bat so there's
5. Get contact lenses immediately.

That's gonna be some $$$. Contact me (get it??!) if you can donate any used ones.

Monday night: Out to bell-ringing practice (that's after Monday day working. Goes without saying, but I have to keep saying it). Home at 10 p.m.

Tuesday 5:30 a.m.: Run! Four miles! In the dark! Again with the 45F! It felt good. I threw in a few fartleks just for fun. I really love running in the dark. It makes you feel faster.

Work ass off all day.

Go out on yet another worknight to see "I Love You. You're Perfect. Now Change." With a friend.

Start experiencing computer withdrawal. Get home at 10:30, which is akin to midnight.

That brings us FINALLY to

Wednesday 5:30 a.m.: Back to the pool! Same beautiful moonlit morn. Steam rising off the pool. Same laps. I'm practicing bilateral breathing (that's how triathletes say breathe on one side, then on the other), and today I tried to count my strokes. a.j., who unbeknownest to all of us, was some kind of swim champion freak genuis in high school, has been answering my endless stream (get it??) of idiot swimming questions. (aj also sent me free pedals! she rocks!)

For instance, NO ONE TELLS YOU THERE IS MATH INVOLVED IN SWIMMING. NO ONE. Count strokes so you know when to breathe; count strokes to swim one length; count lengths; count laps (btw? laps are TOTALLY different from lengths), count this, count that.

Lose count. Start over.

I LOVE SWIMMING. Love it. I've never had so much energy.

The rest of my week, you ask? Spinning tomorrow morning and then probably running Friday and Saturday. I've got to get my run on! Apparently, after one too many, I inadvertently might have agreed to run this with Susie. I'm sure this is a set up, cuz I just decided to run this the week before! God help me.

Next up: Biking with Jeanne!


Eileen said...

I can't believe you did almost a half mile swim in a half hour your first time out! I think that is awesome! I think you are awesome!

Just12Finish said...

Whew! What a post! You are one mover and shaker, out before dawn to work out every day. That's a killer schedule you have.

21stCenturyMom said...

YES! I love it. You love swimming and you see a 1/2 mary and say, "why not?" I feel like I have an east coast twin!

And no I did NOT know that AJ used to be a demon swimmer because she plays all coy and stupid about swimming - HA! Busted.

LBTEPA said...

No really, I'm glad you have discovered how WONDERFUL swimming is. Don't worry about counting, I just look at the clock from time to time. But I'm tired reading your schedule. Do you eat a lot of vitamins or are you a vegetarian or something? 2 half-maras in 2 weeks? Crikey!

Anonymous said...

Hi- just a quick note- they make affordable goggles that come in corrective steps. These are a fine example

I love my pair and have found that the nearest diopter works wonders for seeing what is in front of ones face :-D

peter said...

Lessee. Running shoes $80. Trunks, singlet at the charity store $10. Sox $8. Reflector thingee to clip onto your clothing $4.95. Trip to the curb, free. 5 miles on the roads, free.

Bike $300 ($3,000?). Spandex getup $120. Helmet $40. Gloves on which the fingers have fallen off $18. Shoes? $60. Lock & chain $40. Bike rack $200. Finding someone to put it on Priceless. Lessons in biker pack mentality. Unfortunate.

Wetsuit. $200. Speedo $40. Goggles $4.95. Cap $6. Towel. Get one from the closet. Ymca membership $120 and continuing. Gas to the pool/river (echh). Run there. And back.

Running part. (see top.) Helpers to assist in the transition stage, Priceless.

What were your winning numbers in the lottery, Jeanne?

21stCenturyMom said...

Dear Peter -

The fun of doing triathlon - priceless.

What's your deal, anyhow. Do you always dis people when they decide to try something you have no interes in?

David said...

Peter ... she's just trying to buy happiness. That date didn't work out.

Tri = dark side.

Run people. Run. or go to the swimming or bicycling blog.

Thomas said...

I could have told you the truth about shoes, and you wouldn't even have to date me for that kind of information.

Good work on that swim. I'm seriously impressed.

Nancy Toby said...

Tris and cycling have the best m:f ratio ever.

Well done on the swimming!

So, are you IN for Philly? Don't delay, it's going to fill fast!! (I'm in for the Olympic on Sunday).

Nancy Toby said...

Oh, and THANKS for being out there! I'm sorry I missed you, my downcast eyes were probably firmly planted on the ground looking for the next mile marker or portapotty....

peter said...

For dissing anyone, or being mean, I am sorry. I will endeavor to henceforth keep my clever comments to myself. I am in full support of anyone who gets off the couch and goes out there to do anything, be it some holes on a golf course or a swift or slow marathon or a walk to the grocery store or a twenty yard swim. Anyone who can do more should not have the vanity of arrogance for their good fortune.

jeanne said...

peter: you're the nicest guy i know. THE END

susie said...

What a great weekend (week?). Wish we could've been there! And that race? Let's put it on hold. If I manage the Blue Gray Half, I'll reconsider:)

Rae said...

Wow!! You are a great swimmer!! You're going to kick tri ass. The outdoor pool sounds awesome. Our indoor pool is about 45 degrees right now.

Vickie said...

You're pretty ambitious! And good for you taking up swimming AND spinning at the same time. You'll be a triathlete before you know it. And doing two half marys in one week! Just run one, don't do any running in between, run the next. You'll be fine.

IHateToast said...

when i was out there, i loved bad dates. they make better stories. win-win situbation. either i get a little flutter, or i have everyone's attention the next monday at work as i tell the stories. i think you see that, too.

i spin. it's easy. just get wool and a drop spindle. no sweat. literally. no waxing either. wax and wool is not a good mix.

p.s. can't believe you begged from runners. that's cold.