Sunday, May 24, 2009

Green Drinks and Slow Swims

Yesterday, Mom, Dad, Josh, and I made our way south to French Lick to attend my cousin Kyle's high school graduation. He was class valedictorian and will be attending Rose Hulman on, I believe, full scholarship. Yes, our family is one of overachievers ;) It was great to get to see a bunch of my family and show my support.

Mom, Dad, and I (Josh drove separately because he had to get home and get to bed early in preparation for waking at 4:00 this morning to go to the Indy 500) also made a quick stop while we were in French Lick to see Gearry at his restaurant. Business was booming -- they served about 240 that evening -- but he was excited that we came by and took a few minutes to say "hi." I had not been to the restaurant since he was promoted to head chef, so it was kind of neat to be there and look around and see all the people waiting for tables and think about how much responsibility he has. He is doing a fantastic job and seems to be really enjoying himself, so I couldn't be happier. If we could magically cut down his 50 minute commute time (without leaving Bloomington, of course), I think it would be absolutely perfect.

While at Kyle's open house, I got a chance to talk to my cousin Chris, who does tons of triathlons, including a couple full Ironmans. He is pretty much AWESOME. He asked if I was going to be doing the Hoosierman, since he knew I lived so close to the course, and that got me to really thinking about how close the race is! Two weeks from yesterday. That made me a little excited, but a lot nervous. I've done the Tri Indy duathlon, so I have my first race experience under my belt, but since it was only biking and running and did not include the swimming portion, the swim is throwing all kinds of nerves into the ring for this race. I'm slightly terrified. It's not that I can't swim; I've been swimming in the lake since I was a baby and I was a lifeguard, so swimming is not the issue. It's swimming WELL. Or FAST. My technique is somewhat awful, mostly brought about by the fact that I have 1) Never had formal swim training and 2) Panic when it comes to side-breathing and so therefore swim most of the way with my head stuck way up out of the water, a.k.a. lifeguard swimming.

So, I'm confident in the bike, slow but semi-confident in the run, and hesitant in the swim. My goal is just to not finish last... But the idea that I COULD finish last really scares me. I think it would be somewhat of a victory just to finish so that I can say I finished my first real triathlon (kind of how I felt when I finished the duathlon), but coming in last is not an option. The problem is if I'm slow enough on the swim that I come out of the water last, I will be playing catch up the entire bike and run, and that's no fun. I've gotta figure out how to get better at the swim over the next 13 days. On Wednesday morning Gearry is going to kayak alongside me (for safety) while I swim the Eagle Pointe lakeshore, and I hope to make some strides there.

OK, enough rambling thinking. (You see how mind works... It's an interesting place inside my head.) This morning I had a great bike ride on the course (cut 2:10 off Thursday's time) and a short but spirited little 20 minute run immediately following. Getting off the bike and right into the run is difficult, as your legs feel like they weigh about 180 pounds each, so I've been practicing that transition. My post-workout fuel of choice lately has been a smoothie I read about in Vegetarian Times and started making last week. Super yucky looking (it's GREEN) but very tasty and very chocked full of all the important post-activity stuff (protein, iron, carbs). If anyone is interested, you just boil about 5 oz. of fresh spinach until wilted, then throw it in an ice bath. Wring the water out of the spinach and toss into a blender with 3/4 cup apple juice. Blend. Then add 1/2 cup plain (preferably organic) yogurt and a dash or two of salt and blend again. This makes enough for about two smoothies, but if you save the extra until the next day, be sure to blend it again and maybe add another dash of apple juice before drinking.

After my ride & run this morning (and, of course, a smoothie and a shower) Gearry and I enjoyed the fruits of our shopping labor yesterday with our absolute favorite meal, which I am pretty sure I have blogged about a few times on here. Our "farmer's market" lunch included multi-grain baguette, fresh strawberries, sliced tomatoes, herbed goat cheese, honey, and Runcible Spoon Sumatra roast. AMAZING. If I could eat this every single meal for the rest of my life, I would be perfectly satisfied. Feel free to salivate., but please do not lick your computer screen.

Alright, I'm off to perhaps take a nap, perhaps work on my P540 reading, perhaps sit and stare at Indy cars going around and around in a circle for a bit. Then cookout this evening with my friends Catherine and Emily, and Emily's visiting friends from Michigan. Have a great one, people!

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