Sunday, June 22, 2008


My weekend workouts actually started with my most awesome run on Friday morning. Saturday Chiarunner and I met up to head out to Johan's Trifest Olympic distance triathlon. Here's what getting up at 4 am and not doing any makeup or hair looks like (me, not Chia or Jan). As usual, I look like my dorky self. I swear, take my picture and I am guaranteed to look the worst I could possibly look!

Chia and I were hard at work, or hardly working actually. We were assigned to refreshments and the finish line, so probably didn't need to be there that early, but its always fun soaking up the ambience of the race and checking to see who is there that I know. Jan, on the other hand, came earlier yet to do body marking because she had to leave early for a bridal shower for her daughter-in-law to be.

Eventually, I ran into Cindy Jo (Pink Lady). We were both wishing Shelley had come too!
The race is put on by a group of triathletes/runners who either knew of Johan or who trained with him over the years until his untimely death in 2002. Before he died, Johan set up a foundation to hold a race every year celebrating the thing he loved most: triathlon. And the main beneficiaries of the event are Hospice of Michigan and Hope on the Hill, both organizations dedicated to helping cancer victims and their families.

It was nice for a change being on the other side of the finish line, instead of trying to get to it. I was thinking out loud just how happy I was to just be watching for a change.

The swim started and Chia, Jan, and I and a couple of other volunteers from Hospice sat near the water until the first swimmers came out, and then we headed to transition. Its always amazing to watch the front runners transition in 30 seconds or less. Me? More like 3-5 minutes.

There were a couple of people who dropped out of the race right after the swim and there were at least 2 bike casualties, one where a guy trying to put his bike shoes on while on the bike and weaved into a guy going 20 mph and you can imagine the crash there. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt as bad as he might have been. Another was a guy who was having heart problems and wanted to just rest, but medics wisely pulled him from the race. The last guy out of the water didn't make the swim cut off, so he too dropped.

Standing at the bike transition, its always fun watching all the different bikes and your friends as they head out for the next leg of the race. One friend, Kim, had such difficulty getting on her bike, I wondered how she would make the run. She had crashed a couple of weeks earlier and still wasn't back to normal. I did find out she was not planning on doing the run.

I also realized that this race had relays, which I never even thought of until a few days before. It would have been a lot of fun getting a team together. Maybe next year, if I don't just get the courage to do the race again myself.

While standing around waiting for our duties to begin with refreshments/finish line, we busied ourselves with whatever needed to be done where we could be helpful. Some volunteers had just left when they figured they weren't needed any more, and others of course did have to leave, so we filled in where necessary.

Just before I was finally sent over to the finish line, it started clouding up, providing some relief from the sun, although it wasn't that hot of a day. And I just missed seeing the first finisher come through, just under 2 hours. After that, it was pretty constant busy-ness. We gave out ice cold towels (like heaven, I heard over and over), a flavored water, and chips had to be removed. I was having one of those sore back/hip days, and no way could I bend down over and over to get the chips, so I left that to others. Being more at eye level with finishers, however, gave me a chance to meet up with the son of family friends, who I am finding out is turning into quite an athlete. He informed me that he was doing IM Wisconsin this year. Very impressive. I'm sure he doesn't realize I still see him as the little boy I knew so long ago.

Cindy Jo came through soon after that, and did very well. We ended up talking with her for a while later, after she had a chance to recover some. The weather was starting to look threatening, and it did sprinkle some, but not enough to send you running. They really lucked out once again.

By the time the last few finishers were coming in, my back was getting so tight I just figured I would leave. There wasn't much left we really needed to do, and while we could have helped clean up, I was starting to really need to use a bathroom, and found out that most or all of the porta potties were without toilet paper, and by this time, I couldn't bring myself to go in them again.

We walked back to the car, and once again it was my lucky day. I found $10 on the ground near my car. Woo hoo! That made $15 that week.

Chia and I headed back to GR to pick up her car. Just before we got on the highway, I saw the perfect car for Cindy Jo: a hot pink Honda Element for sale.

I think you'd better jump on that, and there's even a club out there you can join!

After I dropped Chia off, my intention was to go get in my swim for the day. I was so hungry though and had to also do some grocery shopping, so decided to get that out of the way first, go home and eat, and then head to the pool. While shopping, a wave of sleepiness came over me, however, and I was starting to doubt I was going to make it to the swim until I had a nap.

And then, tell me how this didn't get noticed before. As I was unloading the couple of bags of groceries and other paraphanalia in the car from the race, what do I see but a cucumber on the floor of my car. I did not buy any cucumbers that day. All I could think of was: where did this come from?? What must Chia have thought if she saw this?? And how did I possibly miss this when I took stuff out of my car the night before or put stuff in the car that morning. I know I bring a lot of stuff with me to races or other places I go, but this is a little ridiculous. The only reasonable explanation of course is that it rolled under the seat from an earlier shopping trip during the week. It wasn't moldy or mushy so it was fairly recent. At least it wasn't the gallon of milk I left in my trunk for 3 weeks once. That's another story, as you can imagine.

So by the time I got home that day, it was around 1:30 and all I could see was all the mess I had left that day and all week in fact, and began doing some house cleaning: vacuuming, mopping the floors, laundry, cleaning the kitchen. By now, it was 3:30 and I could barely keep my eyes open. A nap was necessary, especially since I still had to go to a birthday party that evening. So no swim yet.

I took about a 2.5 hour nap and then got up and made something to eat again and headed to my sister's, on the other side of town. I was feeling very guilty about not getting my swim in, and told myself I would go after I left her house. Naturally, at 9:45 that night, there wasn't much chance of me wanting to swim 1.25 miles. I actually went to the gym but couldn't bring myself to do it. I just didn't feel comfortable about going into the darkened club (open 24 hours) to swim by myself at that time of night. I can do it in the morning, but it creeped me out to think of it at night. There's always tomorrow, right?

Sunday morning I was up very early again. I don't seem to be able to sleep much past 5 lately and should have gone to swim then, but didn't. I waited for Don so we could bike. I had wanted to do the whole Musketawa Trail that day (49 miles), but Mother Nature had other ideas.

We didn't get that early of a start or might have gotten more riding in before we hit a storm pocket. The sky was a solid steel gray off to the west, right where we were riding. The wind was picking up, and riding along you could see trees down from earlier storms. I told Don I was only worried about lightning and trees coming down. We then decided to cut the ride to 30 miles, but by the time we hit the 12 mile mark, it was starting to rain. I was getting a little paranoid, so insisted we turn back. It never rained hard, but it threatned the whole way back. And naturally, as I expected would happen, the weather cleared by the time we got back to town and the storm warnings had lifted. Oh well, the threat of a storm kept me moving a lot faster than usual, averaging FINALLY 14.5 mph. I confessed to Don then that all last year, no matter how much I rode, no matter how hard I tried, I never, and I mean never, averaged more than 13.1 mph. It was very discouraging, so of course this was huge and I feel there is hope for me yet this year!

After the ride, I went to the pool and Don went on home. I was determined to do my 1.25 mile swim, which I'm happy to say wasn't that bad and I did it in about the time I was hoping for: 50:22. I could see the fat old guy who comes to the gym and sits on an airdyne watching TV the whole time staring at me through the window to the pool. I didn't make any eye contact. He's the main reason I did not want to be at the gym at night by myself. He comes and goes at odd hours mainly I think because he has nothing else to do. I got into it with him last year about something, and while we have sort of made amends (I have made amends, just to get him off my case), I prefer to avoid him at all costs. Hopefully he was impressed watching me do all those laps.

After that? I was tired. I went home and finished up on other chores I hadn't done Saturday, checked on the IMCDA stats for a while, and generally enjoyed the weather the rest of the day. It was a very beautiful weekend here again. Now its time to get caught up on others' blogs!


jahowie said...

That sounds like a very cool event. I am seriously going to think about this one for next year. No comment on the cucumber. LOL!!

chia said...

I don't know why your camera didn't have love for Cindy Jo man, it just wasn't takin' for awhile there. We both have that plastered on "eh?" face LOL!

Thanks for inviting me along, what a great day!!!

Sunshine said...

Will be back later today to read your great post. .. and see your good pictures.
Just wanted you to know I finally did a bit of a post! Thanks for checking up on us.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

The cucumber is cracking me up!! You sure Chia didn't plant it?

HOOORRAAAYYY for people who volunteer. And even though I didn't run this race, thank you for being a volunteer. :D

Anonymous said...

This was a funny're a hoot! More money found?? A cucumber in your car?? hilarious.

I like the pink car!

See Zanne Run said...

busy weekend! the cucumber thing is a riot. you keep finding all this money; you need to play the lottery! must be a lucky air about you right now!

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

Sounds like you had a good time volunteering at a great event.

And you found a $10?!?! You are the queen of finding money. Unbelievable.

Now about that cucumber...

Kona Shelley said... looked great and what a fabulous day...I really should have come over and done that race instead..sighhhhhhh

Cindy Jo said...

Nice car! Too funny!

It was great to see you again! You should definitely do the race next year.

I can't believe how you find money everywhere. You should buy a lottery ticket!

Fe-lady said...

I too enjoyed being a "sherpa" and watching the race instead of being in it...(uh oh!) But I also learned quite a bit too just from observation!

The cucumber story is funny...but I bought one today. For salads! :-)