Saturday, September 30, 2006


Thanks for the wishes, friends! I will be OK. Things I worry about, so seldom actually happen.
And once I get my feet on the ground, I've been good at every job I've ever had.
Maybe the same with today's race and the IM: as soon as I get my feet on the ground, I'll be rolling!

Weather looks great, as Nancy posted. The tide, which I'd heard tell would be coming in against us, will actually be slack (in its resting period between going out and coming in) for most of the swim (lakelike, no current), beginning its influx only in our second half, and then gradually. So we shouldn't be like salmon swimming upstream. Sea nettles have gone to the bottom in response to recent rain and cooler temperatures. It should be a nice swim.

And once I get my feet on the ground, I'll be rolling.

Thanks so much to Nancy for her hospitality once again!

Friday, September 29, 2006



My bike is great. With recent repairs, it's gliding like I always imagined it should. It has never, ever felt this good. My old bike shop kept adjusting my gears for me, missing what was really wrong: rusted rear inner hub and bearings. New bike shop in VA went right to it, replaced it all, and I've got a quiet, smooth-running, silky-shifting machine. I took him a plate of cookies. And with the new tires, it's flying.

That's good because my swimming absolutely sucks. I've gone back probably two years worth in time and efficiency. I've apparently done something stupid to my stroke. Wish I could take it into a shop and get it fixed like my bike. Maybe I still can, in the month left before IMFL. Not before tomorrow's AquaVelo race, but after. There's a masters swim group here. Maybe they'll let me in and the coach can work with me.

I hope I make the swim cutoff tomorrow, 2.4 miles point-to-point against an incoming tide. If I can do that, my bike will make up for lost time.

Whatever happens, happens.

~Sigh~ I am having my usual horrendous time getting into the swing of a new job. I always feel timid at first, which makes me hesitant to make any decisions (e.g. what to do), which becomes near-paralysis (physically and mentally), which necessitates asking someone all the time, "What do I do?" which makes me look incompetent and lacking intelligence, which puzzles my employers because in a general way I seem like such a smart person, which makes them think I'm either not trying or not interested, which makes them treat me in a condescending or abrupt or semi-angry way, which makes me feel bad, which further paralyzes me, which causes me to make mistakes, which further makes me look incompetent, etc., etc., etc. Anxiety makes me think about ramifications while something is being explained to me, with the result that I don't remember what was explained, and proceed to do it wrong the next time, which makes the person I asked say, "What did we talk about yesterday when this came up???", which makes my mind go blank, which makes everyone, including me, wonder if something is wrong with my brain.

Once I get on my feet and get over the fear, I am a good employee. I have gone through this in ever job I have ever had. I go through the entire first weeks, or months, or year, in constant fear of being canned for being stupid. Even though I am far from stupid. I graduated 3rd in my high school class; I maintained a 4.0 all through nursing school, and then left my first nursing job after 4 weeks on a medical leave for anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I never went back to that job; started over in a different hospital where I'd done my clinical training, told them up front I was scared shitless and needed help, and they pulled me through it in about 3 months. I don't have 3 months to get on my feet in this dumb campground job where the hardest part is figuring out what size rig can go in what size site. With the right electrical connections. And south-facing for their satellite dish. And away from the freeway to cut down on noise. And near the shower house. And next to a site where their friends can have a tent. And near the dog-walk field. You can't have everything. But I've failed someone if I don't come through with it all.

Yes, this is the same job where the girl arranged EVERYONE's fall schedule around my IM training and gave us 2 weeks off to go to my race. And she is the one who intimidates me more than any of the others. Maybe because I feel I owe her. Maybe because I'm afraid she resents my "special needs" and imagine she thinks I'm a pain in the neck.

Never mind. Whatever happens, happens.


I'm off to work (took 1/4 milligram of Xanax) and then off to St. Michaels, MD to pick up Nancy, then off to Cambridge for bike-inspection and racking and pre-race meeting, then back to Nancy's and off to bed, then off to the races.

I have a sore shoulder that I thought was from swimming but diagnosed a different cause: holding the phone against my ear with my shoulder while I write reservations.

~Sigh~ Even thought it's caused by the phone and not swimming, I didn't discover the cause in time and it still hurts a little and will hurt for the 2.4 miles tomorrow.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Packing for 2/3 of an Ironman

ChesapeakeMan AquaVelo, 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike.

Morning before leaving for race:
Imodium -- 2 tablets on empty stomach immediately on getting up
Pepcid Complete for after eating (keeps food from trying to flow up my esophagus during swimming)
Hairbrush and ponytail band
Bike shorts
Sport bra
Sweat shirt and pants
Flip flops

Swim bag:
Baby powder to help me get the wetsuit on (works better for me than Pam)
Extra goggles
Anti-fog goggle spray
Vaseline for sea nettles on exposed skin (face, hands, feet)
Cap they give you
Timing chip and ankle strap

Bike bag:
Bike shoes
Vinegar and washcloth for sea nettle stings
Camelback with 1/2 gal. Gatorade Endurance spiked with an Airborne tablet; in its pockets, a bottle with bouillon powder in case I get into a low-sodium bonk (will mix with water when needed); Epi-Pen in case of bee sting; extra contacts.
Jersery with salt capsules, Excedrin, Imodium, Pepcid Complete
Race belt with number

On Bike:
Helmet with number, holding gloves and sunglasses
In Bento Box: candy fruit slices, jelly beans, "fruit smiles", Combos, string cheese
On aerobars: Chapstick, with tape wrapped around only the cap so I can pull out the tube, put some on, and replace the tube in the secured cap, one-handed
2 water bottles
Hand pump

In seat bag:
2 tubes
4 CO2 canisters
Tire lever
Patch kit and tire boots
Duct tape
Kleenex in a baggie (for toilet paper in emergency)
Tire gauge
Extra shoe cleat and screws
Extra handlebar end cover

And with that, I should be ready to go.

I hope I learn to swim by Saturday. My swimming has deteriorated in the last few weeks. I'm doing something wrong. I bought the Total Immersion book and am going to skim through it tomorrow when I can. I couldn't find the DVD locally, and it's too late to order it online and have it ready to take to Nancy's place.

Oh, that's right.... I'm going down to Nancy's place for the race weekend. We'll go together to bike inspection/racking, the pre-race meeting, the race itself. And we hope to run together Sunday morning. It's so good to have a friend.

Bed. I'm going there.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Tires.... and WOW!!!!!

Holy smoke. I decided I needed new tires before IMFL. My old ones, Bongrager Race-Lite Road tires, were starting to look ragged. So I got these, Michelin Pro Race Ironman, partly because of the description partly because of the price, and partly because of the color; the Ironman name was incidental. They came today, in time for the ChesapeakeMan AquaVelo (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, Nancy and I are doing it for training this Saturday). And took them for a one-hour spin.

HOLY COW!!! It felt like I had no tires at all. 18.8 miles in 1:04.... close to 4 mph faster than what I've been averaging over these same rolling roads into the same winds for the last couple weeks. And all summer, back home, for that matter.

They have no perceptible tread, at least not to the naked eye.... it better not rain! Also, they're 700 X 23 instead of 700 X 25 like my Bontragers.

Here's the online-catalog blurb from

Michelin Pro Race Ironman
The Ironman is designed specifically for Triathletes. Unlike many race tires, the Ironman does not compromise comfort and durability. It's not quite as light and fast as some race tires, but it's the perfect combination of performance characteristics for extended stretches in the saddle where performance is still key. Distinctive Ironman color combination. Black and Red,
Size 650x23 or 700x23 Weight 200/220g
MSRP: $59.95You Save 33%
Your Price:$39.95

If I make the swim cutoff :-( I'll be able to make up lost time on the bike!

Monday, September 11, 2006


We've been at our new campground/job for a week now.

Not only have the owners given me the days off that I need for events (a local century ride this coming Sunday, Chesapeakeman AquaVelo Sept. 30, and a couple weeks for IMFL).... this is the astonishing thing:

The young woman who makes the schedules asked if she could see my training schedule, and SHE DESIGNED THE WHOLE STAFF'S ENTIRE SEPTEMBER WORK SCHEDULE AROUND MY TRAINING WORKOUTS, including the lap-swimming hours at the local pool.

Have you ever heard of such a thing????? I am mind-blown. And she wants me to give her my October training schedule as soon as I have it, since she does schedules 3 weeks ahead. I didn't know there were employers who would do something like that. She's about the age of our daughter-in-law, late 20's I guess. Has an 11-week-old baby that she brings to work, so baby-carrying goes with my job description when Selena's busy. No complaints from me there!

Sunday I worked till 1p.m., then got on the bike and rode back roads down to Shenandoah National Park and onto the Skyline Drive for 9 miles of steady gradual climbing. I didn't read until just now, looking for a link to include, that the National Park Service actually discourages biking on this road, although it is allowed. Oh, well. I had read another website that called it "very pleasant cycling with gradual grades." The climbing took me an hour and coming back down, well, I was afraid to look at my computer, afraid to look anywhere but at the road, because I went back down in about 5 minutes.

A highlight was the sighting of a doe and fawn who began running along the side of the road as I approached, never going onto the roadway but running with me. I pedaled faster and faster and they ran faster and faster. Finally the fawn had to stop, and the doe stopped to go back to him. I felt I'd gone to heaven.... biking Skyline Drive and racing with the deer.

Total ride was 85 rolling miles (except for the 9 of climbing.) It was so much easier than in the mountains at home, I wasn't even tired.

Home remedies etc.

Got this from my husband, forwarded from the RV-owners forum he's on.

1. Budweiser beer conditions the hair
2. Pam cooking spray will dry finger nail polish (my note -- so does a drop of baby oil)
3. Cool whip will condition your hair in 15 minutes
4. Mayonnaise will KILL LICE, it will also condition your hair
5. Elmer's Glue - paint on your face, allow it to dry, peel off and see the dead skin and blackheads if any
6. Shiny Hair - use brewed Lipton Tea
7. Sunburn - empty a large jar of Nestea into your bath water
8. Minor burn - Colgate or Crest toothpaste
9 Burn your tongue? Put sugar on it!
10. Arthritis? WD-40 Spray and rub in, kill insect! stings too
11 Bee stings - meat tenderizer
12. Chigger bite - Preparation H
13. Puffy eyes - Preparation H
14. Paper cut - crazy glue or chap stick (glue is used instead of sutures at most hospitals)
15. Stinky feet - Jell-O !
16. Athletes feet - cornstarch
17. Fungus on toenails or fingernails - Vicks vapor rub
18. Kool aid to clean dishwasher pipes. Just put in the detergent section and run a cycle, it will also clean a toilet. (Wow, and we drink this stuff)
19. Kool Aid can be used as a dye in paint also Kool Aid in Dannon plain yogurt as a finger paint, your kids will love it and it won't hurt them if they eat it!
20. Peanut butter - will get scratches out of CD's! Wipe off with a coffee filter paper
21. Sticking bicycle chain - Pam no-stick cooking spray (I've thought about this but been afraid to try)
22. Pam will also remove paint, and grease from your hands! Keep a can in your garage for your hubby
23. Peanut butter will remove ink from the face of dolls
24. When the doll clothes are hard to put on, sprinkle with corn starch and watch them slide on
24a. (My own) When wetsuit is hard to put on, put baby powder on your legs are arms. Works!
25. Heavy dandruff - pour on the vinegar !
26. Body paint - Crisco mixed with food coloring. Heat the Crisco in the microwave, pour in to an empty film container and mix with the food color of your choice!
27 Tie Dye T-shirt - mix a solution of Kool Aid in a container, tie a rubber band around a section of the T-shirt and soak
28. Preserving a newspaper clipping - large bottle of club soda and cup of milk of magnesia, soak for 20 min. and let dry, will last for many years!
29. A Slinky will hold toast and CD's!
30. To keep goggles and glasses from fogging, coat with Colgate toothpaste
31. Wine stains, pour on the Morton salt and watch it absorb into the salt. Also takes out stains from your coffee cup.
32. To remove wax - Take a paper towel and iron it over the wax stain, it will absorb into the towel. (This works on gum also).
33. Remove labels off glassware etc. rub with Peanut butter!
34. Baked on food - fill container with water, get a Bounce paper softener and the static from the towel will cause the baked on food to adhere to it. Soak overnight. Also; you can use 2 Efferdent tablets, soak overnight!
35. Crayon on the wall - Colgate toothpaste and brush it!
36. Dirty grout - Listerine
37. Stains on clothes - Colgate
38. Grass stains - Karo Syrup
39. Grease Stains - Coca Cola, it will also remove grease stains from the driveway overnight. We know it will take corrosion from car batteries!
40. Fleas in your carpet? 20 Mule Team Borax- sprinkle and let stand for 24 hours. Maybe this will work if you get them back again.
41. To keep FRESH FLOWERS longer Add a little Clorox , or 2 Bayer aspirin, or just use 7-up instead of water.
42. When you go to buy bread in the grocery store, have you ever wondered which is the freshest, so you "squeeze" for freshness or softness? Did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each day has a different color twist tie. They are:
Monday = Blue
Tuesday = Green
Thursday = Red
Friday = White
Saturday = Yellow .

So if today was Thursday, you would want red twist tie; not white which is Fridays (almost a week old)! The colors go alphabetically by color Blue - Green - Red - White - Yellow, Monday through Saturday. Very easy to remember.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I've been eyeing this red Camelback Dream at the bike store. Retails for $50, on sale this weekend for half price; I had a gift card with $14 left on it, so I paid $11. Sized and shaped for a woman's torso, 70 oz, plus storage pockets. (Webpage says 50 oz, but the tag says 70, and I measured.... 70.) Very sweet deal.

Daughter Val and her family are camping a few sites down from us for the weekend. They got in late last night. I was already asleep. During the night, I was awakened by a young, matter-of-fact, FYI, "oh, bummer" voice commenting, "I puked." Opened my eyes to see 8-yr-old Gracie sitting up beside me where my husband usually is, quietly and casually throwing up into her favorite quilt, which she held in front of her face like a bowl. I guess she was spending the night :-) After she was done puking, she went to the bathroom, I helped her rinse her mouth out, and she got back into bed beside me and went back to sleep. Nothing to it. No muss, no fuss. I puked. Goodnight. I opened the bedroom door and saw my husband sleeping on the sofa. Whatever. Plans change without notification in this family :-)

This was my last day working at the gym. Owner volunteered that he would be very pleased if I'd work for him next summer as well, if we're in the area. Tuesday, we leave for wild, wonderful Winchester, Virginia, a major Civil-War crossroads and hometown of one of my inspirations, country-music singer Patsy Cline. It's not your typical snowbird hotspot, but it will be slightly warmer there than here, and we have a job working for the campground there.