Monday, July 27, 2009

Ancient Chinese Secret....?

An old man looks solemnly onto his new recruit,
" Apprentice Grasshoppa, you have much to learn but let me tell you this ancient Chinese secret. The key to a quick recovery is plenty of stretching, water, and a good soak in a bath tub, preferably with Epsom salts.”

“Yes, Master Kemoswabi!”

Well, I survived another “Mini” Triathlon with my friend Diane. These have been fun to do at a slower and relaxed pace. We started our slow little triathlon at 7AM in the parking lot of Steiner Pool. We started with the bike ride, and we started to do a little climbing up towards the zoo. But soon we needed to turn around because Diane’s legs were not up to climbing after doing a 9 mile run the day before. Go figure! And here I thought I was the only Nuts-zoid! Well, we turned around and I lead the way for a flatter route. After about 11 miles, Diane was ready to head back but I was on fire to push myself some more. I had just come off of a day of rest; so I went on a little further and ended up getting 27 miles in. Diane was wonderful that she was willingly to wait until I got back from my little bit further bike ride.
(Photo: Myself and Diane before the bike ride.)

Well, the pool was not opened up yet. So we decided to go ahead and do the run after the biking. Even though, I was a little bit leery of having the swim at the end again. (I drank too much chlorinated water the last time.) But off on the run we went. Diane was the smart one. She turned around and did 2.6 miles. But me?!? Well, I was still “on fire” and I had to push it! I did 5 miles, and that was surpassing my longest run by a ½ mile. Not too shabby, but I did discover that it’s easier to run on a slight downhill than to run back up that same hill. (I wonder what Master Kemoswabi would have to say about this, hm?) I ended up walking about 4 blocks of the way back up the hill.

Diane was already enjoying the refreshing pool by the time I finished the run. In fact, she mentioned that she was about ready to come out and check on me. But oh, my brain was not operating at any kind of optimum, and my legs were a bit like noodles by this time. I stretched really well after the run. Finally after the third trip back and forth between the car and the pool, I had everything I needed. You know, I think there maybe a good correlation between hard exercise and dumbness!

The swim went relatively well which surprised me. It was easier this time; a good sign. Also, I didn’t drink as much pool water and I didn’t feel like I had 20 lb weights on my arms. Diane managed to do ¾ mile swim while I splashed my way through ½ mile. I need some more practice on my strokes. They are a bit sloppy to say the least. I might have to see about a class.

On the way home, I called Mom to let her know, again, that I didn’t die of a heart attack from the “mini” triathlon. Then, I calorie splurged on a Whopper with cheese and onion rings at Burger King drive thru. After snarfing down the fast food, I stretched some more. Then there was some more stretching, drinking of water, and a nice hot bath. In one triathlon book, it was mentioned to soak in a tub of hot water and Epsom salt. Well, I didn’t think table salt would fit the bill; so instead I added some lovely raspberry scented bubble bath. Then after the bubble bath, I did some more stretching.

Well, I’m feeling relatively good today. I think I might have discovered an “ancient Chinese secret”? At least I can hope that I've discovered a way to recover relatively quickly? But I’m taking it easy today, just in case. On another note, so far this month I've biked 364 miles, ran 16.25 miles, walked 6 miles, and swam 2 miles. Sheesh! That's a lot!

“Let me tell you something else, Grasshoppa.”
“Yes, Master Kemoswabi?”
“Woman on fire… you let her go and allow her to suffer the consequences. Do not get in the way. Otherwise, you risk life and limb.”
“A good thing to know, Master Kemoswabi!”

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Foot Closer to New Zealand?!!?

I woke up this morning to discover that New Zealand is now a foot closer to Australia. WHAT?!? It was the first thing I heard on the talk radio station that I wake up to. Well, I had to check this out on-line, of course. Gee, it turns out that it’s true! On July 15th there was a 7.8 earthquake that took place in New Zealand and now part of its southern island is a foot closer to Australia. I’m not too sure if those New Zealand er’s like being a foot closer to those Aussies, but there’s still almost 1400 miles between them. So I imagine they’ll be okay. I hate to think of them being up in arms.

Wow, and here I thought the expression of “it’s a small world” was just a reference to technology making our world smaller. But what if, our world is getting smaller? Imagine it getting smaller and smaller very slowly over time. I know, I know this sounds like “Chicken Little” with the sky is falling; and I will admit to taking this train of thought a little too far and probably to the point of absurdity. BUT I will admit that I rather find this fun to do from time to time.

What if? Oh, those wonderful “what if’s”! But I continue to ponder what if all of this global warming is shrinking our planet. It’s kind of like that favorite cotton shirt that was left in the dryer too long. It shrank a little but it’s still wearable. I would prefer to think of our planet shrinking at this smaller, milder, and slower rate. Preferable to the idea of it going faster like those plastic shrinky dinks that I remember coloring and then putting in the oven as a kid. Hey! It’s the incredible shrinking planet!! It gives the movie "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" a whole new angle, don't you think?

But more than anything what amazes me is.... (You're gonna love this) Is that I didn't do a darn thing last night and this morning I woke up and I'm either a foot closer or a foot further from New Zealand. It's sort of like a different version of those ads where you earn money as you sleep. Only in this instance I woke up a foot closer to New Zealand! Hey, possibly more if you consider the earth is shrinking! Gee, am I playing with a full deck of cards? Yes, I know some of you may be wondering!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mt Nebo Loop Bike Ride

It was a warm and clear day for this scenic ride. I wasn't riding. I told everyone that I needed another year to forget those 37 miles of climbing with the 7 false summits on Utah's second highest moutain. I did it last year in 5 hours and 50 min. ride time. But this year with training to do the Triathlon, I haven't been climbing as much; AND you really need your climbing legs for this one!

Instead, I helped man a much appreciated water stop, and then headed down to start the BBQ for everyone after the ride. I got to help out, cheer, and ring the cow bell for all of those riders that turned up for the event. I'm happy to report that all made it through the loop safely.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Facebook Fashion?

Okay, okay. I've joined the ranks! After 5 invites and everyone saying they chatted on Facebook (and me feeling a little left out), I'm finally giving in. I am now on Facebook.

So I sign up and made all kinds of discoveries--- like friends I hadn't had contact in years, those friends that you didn't think were computer savvy( gee-maybe it was me?), and even my little brother. Gee, where have I been? I guess I was totally out in the wild blue yonder twiddling my thumbs!
I will admit that part of the reason that I held out from joining Facebook was due to the privacy issues. All the press about this has kind of made me put Facebook at arms length. But also I keep on thinking of all those people from my past that can now look me up. I hate to think of some fellow elementary student hitting me up for that $5 loan that I forgot about. I mean with the interest, and penalties and what not, I'm looking at some hefty pocket change, and I can't hide behind those black shades on this one. I know I'll have to cough up the dough.
Another one of my concerns is that I have a real tendency to "open mouth insert foot". I think I inherited this from my mom. (Sorry Mom!) Try as I might I still have those moments when my mouth engages before my brain has scanned the contents. Ooopps! A great deal of you can attest to me doing this, and know me well enough that you know it was not meant in harm. But with this new outlet, I can't help but get concerned that I may quickly type before I think or that people who do not know me may take it wrong.

It's kind of strange, though, all this contact through the cell phones, pda's, computers, email, text messaging, and etc. The list goes on as the technology progresses. I'm not sure if I like to be in this much contact with the world. I often feel like I'm on digital overload and that life is swirling out of control. I sometimes WANT to purposely be disconnected. In this day and age, it's getting harder and harder to be that way. I don't have a "land line"---my cell phone is my home phone. It just kind of made sense but sometimes it can be very inconvenient. I, sometimes, will just turn it off or leave the cell home on purpose. I mean what did we do before cell phones?

I find myself searching memories of a time before all of this electronic age stuff. I can remember a time when my dad was a night janitor for a place that had computer punch cards. I remember those cumbersome "brick" phones when cell phones first came out. And meanwhile, here I am sitting at my desk in a paisely print shirt that would have fit in well with the decade of disco. Why does it seem that fashion is going backwards of late? Retro is like the "IN" thing now. Why? Is it a response to all of this progress in technology? Or have we really done all we can with clothing and can't help but to revert back to the past? Well, in that stead I chose this picture of the t-shirt(above) as a fashion statement for this Facebook blog posting. I'm calling it the latest in Facebook Retro Fashion. What do you think?
Oh, and P.S. You can now check me out on Facebook...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A BEAU-ti-ful Sunday Bike Ride!!

This last Sunday was a gorgeous day, and Chalk Creek is a beautiful area to ride a bike. I went out on a BCC (Bonneville Cycling Club) Ride. I rode with a couple of my Tri-buds and a new friend. Diane, Sofia, (the Tri-buds), Kim (new to cycling), and myself took it at a nice easy pace. Chalk Creek is a dead-end box canyon that has rolling hills. A couple of the hills are large and combined with the rollers can be a challenge to new cyclists but both Sofia, and Kim did very well. It took some doing but we even managed to get Kim to admit that she's "AWESOME!" towards the end of the ride. I was enjoying the easier pace--- in fact, we were bringing up the rear of the group of riders. But it gave me plenty of time to take plenty of pictures. But anyway, here's some pictures for you to enjoy....
(Photos: At top-Kim~alias~Ms.AWESOME,--Next-The Three-Sofia, Kim, & Diane,
Next 2 Below-A couple of scenery shots, More Shots- us with more scenery, Below that- At turn around point with Geo-Cache Box, Then- Another scenery with us.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Riddle...a Porcupine, a Maraca, and a Danish flag?

What do these have in common?
Well, this last Saturday they were all part of the Porcupine Hill Race. It's a bicycle race that races from the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon to the Brighton Ski Resort at the top. It can be a grueling climb to ride to the top (as I can attest from experience), and the idea of racing to the top is a HUGE test of strength, endurance, and ability. The individuals that do this are amazing athletes in my book. This is the second time that I've joined Bee to cheer on Peter and other BCC racing members to the top.

I was a little leery of the race going on when I woke up and saw the clouds but they seemed to clear a little and did provide a nice cover for the racers as the day went on. I met up with Bee, Peter's brother, and Sister-in-law. The four of us gather in one car to follow Peter up the canyon and cheer him on, and other BCC (Bonneville Cycling Club) racers. I, of course, not having a cow bell, grabbed my maraca to make a little noise. Though, in hind sight I wonder if it made the racers think that a rattle snake was following them up the canyon. Maybe, I need to rethink what I bring next year. (Photo: Our Look Out Man on top of the rock.)
(Photo below: Bee and Peter before the Race.)
We went up to the "rock" a point where Peter knew we would be to cheer him on. We met other friends, and even had a "look out". As soon as Peter started coming up by us we started to cheer and Peter's brother got out the Danish flag and chased Peter along. Then we all jumped in the car to follow, pass the group he was riding in and pulled off to the side to cheer them on some more. We also cheered on Liam, and Adam too; fellow BCC racers that were close to Peter. (Photos: Peter in the middle of the pack, Peter close up during the Race.)

One other rider in the group with Peter yelled that he wish he had a "Fan Club". Peter later told us that he told the guy that he had to pay a princely sum for his "Fan Club". Breakfast for all afterwards at Sliver Fork Lodge. Later, I told Peter I would prefer to be called a "Groupie". (Photos: Adam during the Race, Liam during the Race)

We continued following Peter and his group all the way to the finish line. Liam who had been in front of Peter had his chain get stuck as he was within yards of the finish line, and ended up walking his bike across the finish line. I'm sure it was a disappointment for him, but I thought it said a great deal about his character that he continued to the finish line regardless of the obstacle. A group of fellow BCC cyclists helped him work on repairing his bicycle so he could ride down the canyon. Adam came across the finish line shortly after Peter. (Photos: Peter crossing the finish line, Bee and Peter after the race, Fixing Liam's bike)

Peter had beat his time from last year, and last I heard he had finished third for his age category(Master's 55+). Way to go Peter! But really congrats to all of the BCC racers that finished the ride!!

(Photos: Peter and Adam after the Race, Adam after the Race)
And I had a REALLY good breakfast at Sliver Fork Lodge. THANKS Peter!! It was a good day!

P.S. I couldn't resist taking a picture of this little boy on his bike. He was just too cute! What do you think, future racer material?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Day of Rest After a Day of Discoveries...

I know, I know traditionally Sunday is the day of rest. But believe me after a day of doing a Mini- Triathlon (or Sprint Triathlon), my whole body is SCREAMing for a day of rest! Do I dare say I'm dog gone tired?! So for all intent purposes my body is having a Sunday, while my brain is enjoying a Saturday. Yes yesterday I survived the Mini-Triathlon. Diane and I did 22 miles biking, 3 miles running/walking, and almost ½ mile swimming.(Diane did do ½ mile swimming, while I went kaput a lap too early.)

Yesterday was a day of discoveries and fun. But oh, how my body is feeling that fun today! OUCH! Yesterday started with me at Liberty Park preparing my bike and gear for the Tri. While I was checking for the 15th time that my car keys were in fact in my fanny pack (I have a fear of locking myself out of my car); a third person had come up to me and started talking away. Strange, three people in 20 min. When Diane pulled up, I asked her if I had a sign on my forehead that said, “I’m lonely. Please talk to me!”(Photo: Myself and Diane before we started the "Freedom Festival Tri" Check out the Downhour Family Chronicles blog for more pictures.)

Oh this day of discoveries and fun. Diane got to discover the gates and the bike path out at the Salt Lake Airport. We had fun shouting and yelling through the tunnels at the golf course section. While I amazingly discovered that I could still manage to run a 1-1/2 mile in 17 min. after biking 22 miles.

Then we both discovered why they don’t put the swim at the end of a Tri. Besides the fact that people can drown, and I was certainly drank more than my fair share of chlorinated water. We also discovered that your arms can feel like they have lead weights attached to them. I ended up using a paddle board for two of the laps, and felt like I was totally regressing when I passed a little girl in the next lane using her paddle board. A little 5 year old was putting me to shame! Another discovery that I made was that swimming goggles make me feel Closter-phobic. So no swimming goggles for me. Sorry eyes you’ll have to deal with it.

Diane and I ended up having lunch at Emigration Market. It was a nice little local grocery market that I had driven and biked by but never been in. They have a little café up front and then a cute little store in back. We explored the store after we had a light lunch of sandwiches with plenty of beverages. I shouldn't have but I bought bread pudding with caramel sauce. YUM! After that I proceeded home where I called Mum. Yes Mum, my “ticker” did not give out and I had managed to survive the Mini-Tri. Then I laid down for a well deserved short nap. Then as a “celebration” I went to a movie and dinner with my friend Laura. Oh, and just FYI--- My Sister’s Keeper is a good movie but is a REAL tear jerker.

Yes, it was a full day, and I had even planned more but my body was not cooperating at this point. I was going to bike over to Granite High school to watch the 4th of July fireworks display, but at the appointed time I found myself sitting in a chair on my balcony with my feet propped up. Ahh, I was too comfortable, and starting to get stiff. So I sat and watched what fireworks I could see over the trees.

Today I finally crawled (literally)out of bed at 9AM due to the call of nature. I staggered to the kitchen to make a pot of joe. And was stared down menacingly by a bag of garbage that needs to go down to the dumpster 3 floors down and across the parking lot. All I can think is OUCH! And sometimes I REALLY hate living on the third floor. Gee, maybe I can bribe one of the neighbor kids?! Or maybe I can drop it from my balcony and hope a Good Samaritan will take it the rest of the way? Nah, not how my luck runs. This might be an all day event... the "Garbage Tri" where I'll try to go down the three flights of stairs and across the whole expanse of parking lot. Meanwhile, I might be ambitious enough to swing by the mailbox that I forgot to stop by yesterday. We'll see... but in the meantime, let me wish you all a Happy Fourth of July!