Sunday, April 20, 2008

Whirlwind Weekend!

Have you ever found that the exact moment that you tell someone that something "will be continued" having left them by the tetherhooks,(for example, oh, let's say a blog that you've written) - that life happens, things get crazy... and suddenly you find yourself sitting at the computer at 11:52 pm two days later, a bowl of mostly stale Lime tortilla chips on the coffee table, a half consumed diet cherry coke at your side, with lot of pent up energy?

Well, I did.

And FYI, the somewhat stale Lime Tortilla Chips are still fantastic. Not that I have magical superpowers or anything of the sort, but I predict that they'll be mostly gone (save a few crumbs) in the morning.

Yes, the weekend went by much faster than usual. Which is surprising, considering the only "training" that I did was 66 minutes (again - not that I was counting) of aqua walking/jogging.

It SHOULD have been simple. It SHOULD have been easy. But that's life. That's what you do. So here we go!

Top 10 Things that happened to MARIT this weekend!

10) The House Monster. She attacked. She attacked Nathaniel. She attacked ME. And, she attacked our friends on Sunday night. Tabbitha was NOT being very "lady like". Then again, that's never been her forte as she cleans herself in public. And, duh, she's a cat. So, she kept me and everyone else with a pulse - on our toes.

9) Nothing like spending our first weekend together alone in Florida - where I don't have to train, where Nathaniel doesen't have to study ALL weekend, where I am mobile enough to get around, where we don't have friends or family over (We LOVED having you over Mom and Karyna - it was just nice to have me and Nate this weekend togeter for the first time since the crash)- going to.... (wait for it, wait for it...) A triathlon.

Yeah. Love my husband - that's all I can say. Who else would willingly wake up at 5:15 am on a Saturday morning to watch his wife's friends race. And just so we could spend more time toghether. (It's okay if you want to sigh. On the count of three: one, two, thre.... Aaaahhhhh!) Nathaniel, my husband would. Round of applause, please! (But he saw lots of fellow Marines, saw our old neighbors from North Carolina who live in Florda, and made some new frineds).

The Flora-Bama Mulletman. Why Mulletman? We already decided that it was due to the fish. But by the number of people sporting mullets - some fake, and even more disturbing, some real - the name behind the race could be in question. Fora-Bama because the bar that hosts the event is directly on the state line. The first race where participants cross into a different state 2 times.

Quick report - I went to cheer on Donna, a new friend that I made at UWF aqutic center a few months ago. Very cool - did her first triathlon EVER as Florida 70.3 last year. Wow. All I can say, is that the girl is hard core. Seriously! My first triathlon, I tripped going down over a curb - and this chick ran a 1/2 marathon. Very talented, and has what it takes to go far in this sport (in my humble opinion). Thank goodness we're in different age groups! One of Donna's friends from college, Zack, also race. It turns out that he's going to fly helocopters in the Army, so he and Nathaniel got along really well. He did great, and beat Donna by 6 seconds in the end. But Donna won her age group - but more importantly, learned a lot along the way.

And Ryan (from Pensacola). Ryan is a MONSTER biker, a heckuva guy. His wife Melissa and amazing daughter Teegan were there as well. Even though I'm an "adult" - I still feel like a kid at times. So 5-year-old Teegan, with her pick polka-dot shirt and perfectly fitting camp chair that she carried around with her - and I had some great conversations. Watch out future triathletes! Teegan is determined to do her first triathlon at the tender age of 7. And if she's anything like her parents (which I'm assuming she is) - she'll rock. Great to see Ryan and his family again.

Finally, Nathaniel saw several of his classmates and fellow Marines. We even bumped into our old NC neighbors when we lived on Cherry Point. Bill was racing his first triathlon - his goal was NOT to win, NOT to run-only, NOT to survive the bike, heck - NOT even to NOT get eaten by a shark. No, he just wanted to beat his brother Rudy. So Bill and Rudy duked it out all race. Which was challenging, as Rudy started 3:00 ahead of Bill. Bill won in the end, probably because he has super powers from flying the Prowler.

AND, my friend from Jacksonville, Florida - the AMAZING runner and triathlete, Jennifer Pinto-Hanley, won the overall race. Great to see her and her hubby. She's racing at Lake Stevens 70.3 this year, and based on how she raced yesterday, I have no doubt that she'll do awesome.

Oh yeah, and I saw a few other local friends after the race. It was great to chat, to be surrounded by people doing the sport that I love. It was really hard not racing, but there were so many other things to do that kept me otherwise occupied.

I found that I really enjoyed the race atmosphere, cheering on the athletes, and most importantly - spending time with Nathaniel and Donna's girlfriend, Joanna. Nathaniel and Joanna had a great time together, and while I answered a lot of the "triathlete" questions, it was Nathaniel who gave her all the tips about where to be, where to stand, how to catch Donna at the swim exit and swim-to-bike transition.

Nathaniel, it seems, has learned quite a few tricks through watching my races over the years.

Saturday morning was pretty busy - early to rise, lots of excitement, race atmosphere minus the butterflies, and best of all? I didn't get eaten by a shark, one of my big fears whenever I go to a race.

8) Did I mention we got up at 5:15 Saturday morning. It gets 2 because we're hard core like that.

7) Went over to Ludi's after getting home from the race to prepare for a presentation I'm giving to one of her Athletic Training and Testing courses at UWF. I'm very excited - and nervous - to talk about triathlon to her students. Hopefully I won't do anything too embarassing, like break out into laughter or sneeze and have snot fly out of my nose. Huh. I think I worry a little too much.

Should be fun for me and hopefully interesting for them. If all else fails, Ludi will ask me a bunch of questions and I'll answer them as best as I can. Then again - I did crash my bike and break my butt/back, so I don't know how qualified I'll be to answer bike-related questions. But I'm great at discussing extendo-cracks.

6) Rock of Love II Marathon on VH1. Word of the wise: don't get sucked into any reality show with the words: Rock of Love II in their title. Stupid TV, Stupid people, 80s music (which I hate), 80s hair (which I saw too much of at the triathlon), and crazy people doing crazy things for some guy I've never heard of.

Man, it was addicting.

5) Sleeping in util 9 am on Sunday is great. Taking a 3 hour nap at 11 is even better. My body's way of catching up on sleep. I fell asleep with my nose in a book - or right next to it. Second time that's happened this weekend (the first being Saturday night). Note to self: get a new book.

4) Aqua jogging! Hooray!!! Went to the pool Sunday afternoon for my workout. THIS time, I was smart and utilized an old QuickJohn wetsuit. You know the kind? Sleevless on the top and short legs on the bottom. Old school Quintana Roo - but I figured that at the pace I've been going these last few sessions, this might be a great help (thanks for the suggesions, my friends!) I was sweating after 10 minutes, and loving life.

Good news about the "jogging" aspect to my workout. As it was Sunday afternoon, the pool was packed - namely the shallow end where I usually do my walking. Instead families and kids of all ages were splashing and playing. Sheesh? Don't they realize I'm supposed to be walking? Humbug!

But they did look happy and cute, and I didn't want to spoil their fun. Plus, one of the diapers on one particularily testy little one didn't look all that, er, stable. Or sturdy. And the last thing I wanted to walk through - wetsuit and all - was baby poop. Not fun. So - to the "deep end" (7 feet, over my head) I went.

Clearly, I would be unable to walk at this depth - so I grabbed an aqua aerobics belt, felt only a little sorry that I didn't have the old style swim cap with flowers pasted on and a chin strap to keep it in place, and hopped in. The buoyancy of the wetsuit and belt kept me high and dry, and at first I walked, and then jogged my little heart out for 66 minutes.

Donna and Zack were in the next lane over, so time flew by - and before I knew it, the swim was over. I felt really great - much better than power walking.

3) Cleaning Frenzy. You know when you invite friends over for dinner, and you realize that your house is a litter, er, messy? Yeah. Good stuff. But Nathaniel and I cleaned everything up in 20 or 25 minutes - and still had time to spare. My heart rate was high enough that it could have dubbed as a second workout.

Man, I can really get that vacume moving!

Had a blast with Donna, Joanna, and Zack. Good times, talk of helicopters, triathlon, photographs, books, life, scrabble, and just generally great stuff. Can't remember the last time I had so much fun with friends who relate so well to me and Nathaniel. Wonderful.

2) The best "salad" ever. How do you make apples taste great? Why you add cool whip and chopped up snickers bars! Zack's salad brought Nathaniel back to his Childhood Luthern Curch basement food days in Minnesota. Who knew that chopped apples, cool whip, and snickers could be so tasty?

I knew it was a winner when Nathaniel was standing over the sink after Zack had left, eating chunks of the salad directly from the bowl.

1) I have gone from being afraid of the mechanics of my bike, to loving working on it. Donna had the courage to let me switch out her stem and seat (aka - tinker around with it), and I actually did it without killing her bike. Or my tools. Her current stem was way too long - freakishly long. So I "borrowed" the stem from my road bike until we can find a suitable fix for her. Also swapped out seats, as her old saddle could not be moved any further forward. I replaced it with a spare Fizik Ariolone Tri Saddle - and it seemed to work really well. Hopefully her "lady bits" will survive the change.

Saddles are so personal, aren't they?

It appeared - for the most part - that I knew what I was doing.

There was one, ahem, slightly difficult time, when I was trying to loosen her seat clamp where I was torquing my wrench in the, ah, wrong directon. (I know, I know: leftie loosie, righty tighty!) But after several attempts by various-unnamed-persons at our place, Zack - the Army guy (to Nathaniel's dismay) - got it figured out. Go Army! (That's for Zack and Danielle's Andrew!)

So yes, my bike skills are coming along. Thank goodness, however, that Donna is doing her 4 hour ride on the trainer tomorrow. Just in case. :)

So - very very busy weekend. Much moreso than what we had originally planned. But, we had a great time. Fun time at the race, great time relaxing - just Nathaniel and I, fun at the pool, great time at Ludi and Katy's, and an excellent time with Donna, Joanna and Zack.

And now it's 12:52. It has taken me an hour to write this out. Alas, no "utility belt" post - but I DO promise. It's on its way. And after today, I've even got a few more things to add.


Beth said...

Ahhh...another to be continued on the fuel-utility belt!!! :)

Glad you had such a great weekend though! BUSY!! And by the way - when I start tinkering with my bike tools I almost ALWAYS turn the tool the wrong way and tighten the bolts before I realize the err of my ways and turn the tool the correct way to loosen... Have a great Monday!

Danni said...

Wow Marit!
You never seize to amaze me! I wish I could learn to not be afraid of breaking my bike, I even take it to the shop to get it cleaned!! HAHAHA!
It is on my to-do list for this year though... Learn how to take better care of my bike.

Audrey said...

I may or may not have woken up at 7:30 on Sunday...and then slept from 11-3... :) You sound happy!

Pedergraham said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend. I'm so glad that Nathaniel had so much fun at "your" things, too! He should get in on Beth's O's Packet business, now that he has the spectating down.

Anonymous said...

Um, can we go back to point # 6 please? ROCK OF LOVE. I am so impressed you know who POISON is....HAHA....oh, you know I love ya! Brett Michaels does NOT do it for me, but for some ODD REASON and MANY MANY bike miles later, I love that show - that and America's Next Top Model are my FAVS! :) Glad you had a nice weekend. Jen H.

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Jen said...

Marit...Your posts about the "house monster" crack me up! My sister has a cat named oliver who is a thinner version of your cat...they don't look alike but oliver has been know to attack on a whim. Best of luck on your road back to racing!

Zachary C. Mauss said...

Haha, it is not very often that I am the guy who helps 'fix' something and not 'break' it!!!
I had such a wonderful weekend hanging out with you, Donna & Nathaniel! We should definetly do it again sometime!!! Keep me posted on your recovery and I can't wait to cheer you on in some races later this year! And I told my Mom about the Snicker Apple Salad being enjoyed in FLA- she laughed!
Feel free to check out my blog @
I don't update as often as you, but occasionally put something interesting on there!
Take care,