Tri Bye

It’s Thursday, June 19th. The triathlon was Saturday, June 14th, so obviously I survived.  It was touch and go there for a while, however.  I was actually really stoked at the start of the race.  Tim and I did a little practice swim in West Lake about 10 minutes before the start time, and I was in the zone – happy, confident, breathing perfectly well in the chilly 6:45 AM water.  But.  Then we got out of the water and situated ourselves in line – Tim towards the front, and me towards the back.  It took probably 10+ minutes for me to reach the front the line, during which time I shivered, and shivered, and shivered, feeling my confidence ebb with each shake of my chilly self.  I remembered last year, however, and how I let nerves get to me and how I was able to force myself to get it together and figured I’d probably be alright.  This year was different, however.

With my first plunge into the water, my breathing was off.  No matter what I did, I could not get my rhythm.  I would take a breath on my right side, put my face in the water to take a stroke and immediately inhale.  I swear I ended up doggy paddling almost the whole thing.  It was exhausting and so disappointing!!

But I made it back to shore and on to my bike for a calming, albeit rather windy, sun-infused ride.  On the ride I noticed that my jaw had pretty much clamped shut, so I had to squeeze Gu Chomps in through my front snaggle teeth (they come in handy sometimes).

By the time the ride was over, I was feeling much better and had a pretty solid run.  I was encouraged by other runners and the volunteers.  One runner complimented my pace.  I was really buoyed by the comment and by another human being using precious energy to help me out!

Overall I added 8 minutes to last year’s time.  The swim took about 3 minutes longer (it felt like a lot more!!), the bike took about 5 minutes longer, and the run was a few seconds shorter.  I was surprised at the longer bike ride, but I think it was because of the wind.  I probably presented a broader plane to the wind, too, because the whole time I was just shaking my head in disappointment at the swim!

Also, I was not paying attention while riding my bike on Friday and ended up flying head first off my bike when my brother turned in front of me.  I landed on my shoulder, elbow, hip and ankle.  I didn’t feel as if anything was broken – all my limbs moved as they should, so I got back on the bike, and we all headed downtown for supper at Front Street.  On Tri morning, I still felt pretty good, just a little scraped up.  But come Sunday?  Ouch!  It hurt to laugh and to breathe.  I had some ART done on Tuesday, though, and now I am back almost to normal.  The only evidence of the crash is a thick scab on my elbow that I really, really, really want to pick off but Tim won’t let me.  So I’m calling the 8 minutes the bike crash differential.  🙂

All that being said, I’m glad I did it again, but I’m even more glad it’s over!  As of right now, I REALLY don’t want to do it again.  I just really do not enjoy the swimming experience and the costs associated with it.  It is really fun to do a race like this with family, however, so I’ll have to see where everyone else lands on this.  If the whole family wants to do it again next year, I will consider it.  But I plan to find a really amazing bike or running race and tempt everyone with that instead!


Homemade Gourmet Tomato Soup

I’ve always loved tomato soup.  When we were kids my mom would can tomatoes and then  we would dump a jar of them in a pot, add a bunch of butter, and that would be some deeeeelicious tomato soup.  I also like the tomato soup that you get at nice Italian restaurants – where the tomatoes are pureed with olive oil and delicious seasonings, and the soup is the perfect color of red.  I don’t why, but I always assumed it was difficult to make.   It looks so fancy. Today I found out differently.

I tried this recipe:  Tomato Soup with Spicy Mini Meatballs.  The soup itself was pretty easy to make, and best of all, I was able to finally utilize my herb garden!  I used fresh parsley, basil and oregano.  Those spices were combined with olive oil, garlic, canned tomatoes, water,  and salt.  The concoction simmered for 30 minutes, and then I dumped it into our Vitamix blender (I will have to do a separate post on this amazing machine some day).  Out came perfectly silky, tasty, beautiful tomato soup.

Once that was complete, I set to work on the spicy mini meatballs. Making the meatball batter was a pretty simple feat, but making the mini meatballs was a huge PITA.  They are supposed to be teaspoon size.  TEASPOON!!  It took forever.  I only cooked half up them and then froze the rest.  I have to say, they were worth the trouble. Very very delicious.

Tim and I both loved this soup.  Next time, however, I need to double or quadruple the batch.  We only got 2 large bowls out of this recipe.  Also, if you make the recipe, note that the ingredient list for the meatballs is missing garlic.  It’s referenced in the instructions but not listed in the ingredients.  I added 2 gloves of chopped garlic to my balls.

Now that the triathlon is over, I need to get back in the habit of cooking more and writing more.  That is, unless we do another triathlon.  Which we are seriously considering.  I probably should have just BOUGHT my wet suit instead of renting one.  Triathlons are expensive.  But Tim and I had a great time participating in the QC Triathlon last weekend. I want to do it again 🙂  I can’t believe it, but I actually enjoy swimming now.  I haven’t been swimming since last Saturday, and I miss it.  This is probably an egotistical thing to say, but I’m super proud of myself for facing and overcoming my fear of the water and of swimming.  Yay Heather!  I read a quote somewhere that says you should never compare yourself to someone else.  You should only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.  I feel like I’m a much stronger person physically and emotionally today than I was 6 months ago, and that makes me happy.

Hopefully I will have more recipe reviews to share soon!  Take care and good night.

Tri Training

The Teeeemy Tee and I are signed up to do the Quad City Trathlon.   This will be Tim’s second tri and my first. I have never been a strong swimmer.  It took me 3 tries to pass Beginner’s Swimming.  Plus when I was little, I almost drowned in my grandpa’s pool.  Consequently, I have a lot of anxiety around being in the water, especially when my chest is below the water line.  BUT, I want to get over this fear, and I think that doing a triathlon at 36 will be a good way to celebrate rounding up to 40.

Tim and I hit the pool today for our second swim.  Tim promised that with each visit to the pool, I will get exponentially more comfortable in the water.  I have to say, he is right.  Today still sucked (I think I swam 18 laps, with rests, and then I did 4 or 6 laps with a water board), but it sucked less than it did a week ago.

What did I learn from today?

1.  Do NOT wear 3 inch heels the day before swimming.  Your feet and calves will cramp up something fierce.

2.  Do NOT attempt to put on super tight workout pants after getting out of  the pool, unless you are in possession of a jumbo-sized container of baby powder.

I’m going to try swimming at least 2 times/week.  Hopefully we can get some open-water swimming in before the event too.  From all accounts, swimming in a open body of water with thousands of other people intent on not drowning can be a fairly intimidating experience.