Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring Fever!!

It's official -- Every living thing in my household has spring fever. My animals are shedding at different rates, but the fur is flyin' all the same. My two cats have been loving the couple of days of nice weather. They are so frisky and run around the yard and zip up and down the trees in the front yard. Just now, Peanut made this God-awful yowl and sprinted around the living room. I opened the front door and she just took off like a bullet!! LOL!!

My swimming is slowly coming along. Charmaine gave me even more helpful advice yesterday. She said, "It's all coming back to me now" -- all her years of training and drills and such. Yesterday, she had me swimming along beside her for ten lengths without kicking and without a pool buoy, trying to keep pace with her (Yeah right!!! LOL!!!). She told me to keep saying to myself "Stretch and lean." I am still amazed at how these little tweaks leave me so exhausted. Just by concentrating on my swimming in this way I used muscles I never really used to capacity. My side stomach muscles throbbed after that measly 200m!!! And so did my poor little arms. Charmaine was telling me I was a bicep swimmer but I am really a tricep swimmer and she is going to help me change that!!

Needless to say, I was grinning like a mad fool all day long. I feel so lucky to have had great people come into my life!! :) :) :) My friend Cath in England is an incredible swimmer as well and her advice has lifted my meager swimming skills to another level. She has also swam beside me and around me, analyzing my swimming style. The way she explains things is like a true teacher. With Cath, I finally "got it." AND she is just most awesome person you will ever meet -- friendly, positive, outgoing, honest, everything!! (OK,I miss my bud!!) Can you imagine how wonderful it would be if all us tri-bloggers got together??? I think I would explode from all the positive energy!! :) :):):)

OK -- I know I have spring fever too!

I haven't rode outside yet this year and I am cutting it close because my first race is in Lethbridge on May 11!!! I haven't wanted to disconnect my bike from the CT on the one or two nice days we've had because I'd have to fart around to hook it back up afterwards. I know this is a terribly lame excuse but technology and me have a pendulous love/hate relationship dynamic. Unlike Susi and her gerbil, I cannot quell my exasperation when my DVD player, or computer, or my CT does not work. I get so worked up -- I can feel the frustration bubbling up inside me -- Just like the feeling of rising panic when I am in the hot and sticky change room after a swim and I try to put my spandex sports bra on. It gets all rolled up somehow and I contort my arms and back like an epileptic just trying to pull the damn thing down!!!! This is the feeling I get when I have to set up my Computrainer. LOL!!

Mind you, I did set it up all myself when I first received it. This was a huge deal for me. Despite a number of setbacks and a few hours on the phone with technical support -- I managed to ward off a full-blown triathlon drama melt-down!! The big problem (I am red-faced) I had plugged one cord into the wrong hole. Eeeeeeep.

So... I really, really, really don't want to unplug and disconnect my bike from the CT until nice weather is here to stay. Wimpy? Yes. Something else to work on and improve? Definitely. Something to work on this year? Umm-- no. After all, I need a good problem to solve for my 2009 New Year's resolution!! LOL!!! :) :) :)

Back to my first race on May 11 -- this will be my second one done solo without family or friends in attendance. My first solo race was the Osoyoos 1/2 IM, and I actually had a great time. I felt a strange sense of pride being all beat up after the race but stoically packing my bike and gear into my car all by myslef after the race. :) :) The race also felt intensely personal -- much more than when I've had my family there. It felt like a personal triumph -- I was racing FOR myself. I'm going to have to leave it there because I am having trouble finding the right words to express how I feel today. I'll leave it to Susi-- help me out, Susi!! I know you can articulate what I am trying to say!! :) :)

Has anyone else ever raced solo, and if you have, how did you feel about it? :) :)


runningman said...

I drove out to my first Ironman, last year in cda by myself. I met a friend out there so it wasn't that bad, and I'm kind of a loner and enjoy spending time by myself. The only time it really bothered me was crossing the finish line, it would have been nice to have my fiance or my mom(my biggest fan) there. Lisa is not a canadian citizen so she couldn't enter the states.

Keith said...

I watched one guy finish IMC. He got his medal, looked around, and wandered off. He didn't look happy, or in pain, or anything, just very neutral. I remember thinking, gee, I hope that's not me if I ever get there. It must be quite a rush to have family, friends, and fellow tri-athletes there cheering you on.

There's a trick to disconnecting electronic things that I will happily share with you. Carefully go around the entire unit. This works for anything electronic, computer, stereo, high-tech fancy-dancy spin trainers. Find every single wire that you will have to disconnect. Put a loop of tape or a tag on each wire, and number it. Put the same number on another piece of tape, and mark the hole where it is, with the same number. Put the tag or tape on each end of the wire if necessary. Tag until everything is tagged, wire and where it goes. Only then unplug and carefully store the cables. Then when the time comes to set it up again, life is simple, unless you've lost the cable, or the tape has ripped off.....

Hope the spring winds don't blow you away and you can get outside soon. Next thing you know, you'll be tickling J and K's toes to make them get out of your way!

Julie said...

Thanks for the techno tip, Keith! That should make my life much easier!

Jason said...

Blimey, I wish I was married to Cath, she sounds great! Happy birthday for the other day Julie, you'll be catching me up soon. p.s. did a swim and a bike today with no goal in mind - especially not a triathlon :P

Cath said...

Ha ha ha, Jase, you're so funny! Hey, Julie, any tips any time, though like I said you'll be giving me the tips next time for sure! Have fun and enjoy it - though it sounds like you definitely are!

Did I tell you we got a computrainer type turbo - didn't get the computrainer itself as there's only 1 distributor in the UK, he's crap and charges twice the US price! Anyhow, this is the Tacx Fortius, does most of what the computainer does too - it;s fab - jase is loving it too! I did my 10 x 400's this morning, and then a bike/ run brick tonight - I could change the gradient and save the course for a future session - much more interesting than our last one!

Anyhow, catch up soon - miss you lots too! :) xx

Susi said...

holy hannah, the pressure is on...


well, something i have learned of late is this; if we look for acceptance, achievement, love, etc from outside sources, ie not from within ourselves, then we don't necessarily feel complete. it's not ours - we've gotten it from someone or something else. and when that source leaves, the feeling leaves with it because it was never 'ours'.

however, when we dig deep and find within ourselves that strength to finish the race, or that amazing feeling of accomplishment from depending only on yourself, well now, that's powerful stuff. no one can take that feeling away because it is ours. that's inner peace. that's being complete. that's shaking your fists in the air and yelling 'HOOOYAAAAH!!!'.

as for racing solo i haven't yet per se. my parental unit are my #1 fans and are always at my big races, and i always seem know someone who's racing. (secret's out - i'm a social butterfly!)

that said, i am trying to race 'solo' from now on. i did it on sunday - yes i had people there that i knew, but i was racing for me and me only. i wasn't worried about what other people would think of me, or my results. i was solely focussed on how i felt. it was an amazing experience - one i plan to recreate at IMCDA.

race for yourself on may 11, but know that you will be surrounded by an energy from all our positive thoughts and best wishes. :)

Alan Keller said...

Hey, Julie. There is lots of pride in doing a race all by yourself! Having done races with and without support or fans, I can say that each has their pros and cons. Funny thing is that I felt prouder of my achievements when I was alone. Maybe it's also because I only had my story to share, versus someone else's saying how beat up I was...lol

Shannon Keith Wicks said...

Susi is another one wise beyond her young years...well said.

One of my mottos: "race from the heart".

Whether I am at a race with friends/family or not - I carry everyone in my heart and think about them at various points throughout the race.

To me, everyone is "family" out there before/during/after the race. So whenever I cross the finish line I will generally hug, shake hands, or talk to whomever is near me at the moment.