Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kayak, Bike, and That Other Thing You Do in the Water

Last night I went kayaking for the first time ever. It cost $5. Since I don't have the kid's camera anymore, and strangely, other people don't feel the need to photograph every single thing they do, you'll just have to imagine the scene: The C & O canal, dusk, sun slowly setting, mosquitoes slowly eating me alive. It was blissful, and peaceful, and I got told by the instructor that I need to "put more force into it." A familiar rejoinder, sadly.

It kind of looked like this.

The instructors taught us a few strokes and then had us play tag with the kayaks. A lovely way to spend a hot summer night.

Saturday I went on a 33-mile bike ride on the very very hilly Eat-a-Peach charity ride, out in the hinterlands of Westminster, Maryland. I was grouchy and grumpy and not feeling it, but I just got in the car and put it in drive, bitching to myself the entire way. I should have manned up and gone for 40 miles, but I gave into my worse self. I rode alone most of the time, and what do you know: My mood actually lifted. It really IS all about the bike!!!

The ride went through bucolic (and hilly) Carrol County, out in some real country, with no cars, lots of corn, cows and horses. Also geese. The first rest stop was at 9 miles. Are they kidding?? I was barely warmed up. The second was at 20 miles, at a cute little country nursery. There were a ton of people stopped, including a bike team that was helping some chick change a flat. I flew right on by. 33 miles took me 2.5 hours which, if you're keeping track, is slow. But whatever. I passed people like they were standing still. The ride organizers saved their worst for last, of course: the longest and steepest hill at about 31 miles out. It went straight up. God knows how I didn't fall ass over teakettle. Instead, I passed one teenager pushing his bike up a hill. I felt smug (and what the heck, why not?) even though he was riding a banana bike that was about 6 sizes too small. I take what I can get.

At the end I forced myself to run, and got in 2 good miles in the hot sun. (I've been following 21st Century Mom's admonitions to always run after biking, no matter how short or long. Listen to the mother!) So that was my longest brick yet.

While out on the run I heard my name called (is there anywhere where I am not known??? The fame thing--so hard!) It was none other than the overachieving Adam, who rode 67 hilly miles, fast (read his excellent ride report). We met up after my run to gossip while I stuffed my mouth full of bagel and he of pizza. After that, I stuffed my pockets full of peaches, came home, and in a fit of "Julie/Julia" madness (the link is to the blog that inspired the book that inspired the movie), made this:

And finally, the sport Whose Name We Dare Not Speak:
I have a triathlon coming up, the Northeast Olympic Tri, this coming Sunday, located in the unimaginatively named town of Northeast ("The Land of Pleasant Living"), Maryland. I'm considering this my "G" race, cuz that's how far down in importance it is to my "A" race. (What is my "A" race, you ask? Lemme get back to you ...)

I'm considering it a long training day. I'm considering it a time for FUN in the water, a FUN bike ride, and then some FUN running. And while I'm busy lying to myself, my brain is busy freaking out over the s***. And the run. Yeah, everything but the bike. So to calm myself down, and re-convince me that I can indeed go 1500 meters in open water, I hied myself down to the Hain's Point 50-meter outdoor pool on Sunday after church, all ready to do 10x100, and 10x50.

Which I did. And immediately got depressed because it took me 45 minutes. In a pool. After all those lessons, and all that practice.

I want a refund.

Anyway, my plan is to magically become faster on Sunday. If I could get a s*** time that starts with a "3" I'll be deliriously happy.

There's loads more to report, but I know how you like me to keep things short, so I'll leave everyone with this inspiring video of Captain Kirk explaining Why He Is Climbing a Mountain, inspiration which I plan to use on my next hilly ride, run, or s***:


Judi said...

jeanne!! you are doing great!

Runner Susan said...


NOD's BF's Mom said...

good grief, jeanne. No wonder I never hear from you anymore. Kayaking, running, swimming and even a 33 mile bike ride? I can't last on a bike longer than about 2 blocks. The seat alone is a killer.

And I'm very upset that you didn't invite me over to see your new kitchen and especially to have a piece of that pie.

I might have tried kayaking for $5. Let me know the next time.

21stCenturyMom said...

ATTA GIRL! You will thank me for that advice on the brick thing as you bound off you bike and have a fabulous 10K!

And I love you forever for the Shatner video. Love it! And I love kayaking, too. Shatner and kayaking and s***ing and racing triathlon. Let's be sisters!

Jack said...

I went kayaking several times in Germany while stationed here in the Army in the 80’s. We could rent kayaks for a steal through our outdoor recreation center, you only had to take a course weekend with them first. That’s a story in itself, picture this: 18 young male soldiers being taught to kayak by an only slightly older German gal that could have come directly from a Playboy shooting, and mostly only wore a tank top and a bikini bottom. Yeah, she had our undivided attention - anyway the kayaking was a blast. I went on several excursions in the Black Forest, in the springtime it was downright dangerous due to flooding - of course for young soldiers this was the only time to go - at least no one drowned.

I’m following your trying tri training with interest, I’ve decided I need to do this too – next year there will be a first triathlon, something easy to get me started.

Keep up the training, you doing fabulous!

Jon (was) in Michigan said...


Did I mention the location for my remaining long runs will be centered around locations that sell pie?


Kelly said...

Kayak-tag sounds fun (and like I would end up in the water).

I feel your triathlon pain. I too have a race on sunday and feel unprepared for the swim (although, 1500m, holy crap that's far! Good luck!)

Gina said...

You just crack me up, Jeanne. I enjoy your posts a lot. Have FUN with it all. And good luck with your tri. Kayaking is very fun, btw...

Lesser is More said...

When I first looked at that picture of the pie I was going to yell at you for not making a peach pie, but I clicked for more detail and saw a few peaches in there. So you get a pass this time. Those peaches are darn tasty! I've been eating at least 1 every day since the ride and I've got plenty more to go.

Best of luck at the race. Sounds like you've got the "having fun" part down pretty good, which means you shouldn't have a problem meeting the goal of your "F" race!

Lesser is More said...

Sorry - I meant "G" race...I guess having fun wasn't part of the "F" priority races.

ShirleyPerly said...

I've never tried kayaking by myself but remember doing so with my husband in a 2-person kayak. We kept hitting paddles -- so frustrating!

As far as swimming, I've always found that even just 5-10 seconds rest in between intervals I'm much slower than just swimming straight 500s or 1000s. And I never really get into a groove because I'm always stopping. So don't count yourself out for a good swim yet but most of all just get out there and have fun!

Nora said...

Mmm, pie, mmm...