This weekend we did the Omaha Triathlon. Last year was my really big deal and the inaugural Omaha Tri. That was my first and only Olympic Distance (Swim: 1 mile, Bike 26.2 miles, run 6.2 miles) because that’s all they offered. I only signed up this year because they offered a Sprint Distance (Swim: 1/2 mile, Bike 12.4 miles, run 3.1 miles). Still, it was hyped up, there was a fancy finish line and mandatory meetings and practice swims _ so if it wasn’t a big deal, it still felt like it. It really felt like I was some kind of pro when I found myself waking up at 3:30 a.m. to get there when the transition area opened at 4:30 a.m. for a 6 a.m. start time.
The sure fire way to tell you’re a triathlete, is when you start seeing the same people show up. Our girl Kathy and she moved away. She claims her husband got a promotion, but I think we know what really happened _ she caught on to us riding with her so we could look cool at triathlons. Since she won it last year, she was invited back. It was such a great feeling to see her! Kathy, you’re our hero, no matter what! We’re also starting to develop quite the Omaha Mommy Triathlete posse. Our pal, Cricksta drove in for it, and brought her son to do the Kids Tri. Which, he might have had one of the best all_time finishes I’ve ever seen. We also made some new friends who were first_timers in doing this triathlon. The look of shock and doubt on their faces before the race, and the look of accomplishment and confidence after was so fun to see. I’m so happy for my new pals! Y’all are my new pals, right?
Okay, back to my very cool triathlon story _
I got there early and started getting my transition area ready in the dark, noting other triathletes_ and by other, I mean the ones with chiseled chests and fancy bike_ had head lamps on, organizing their transitions with precision. I’m sure had I owned a headlamp, I would have cut my race time in half. Or at least the transition times. Uh, maybe not. Still, I’m feeling pretty stellar that I got all my stuff organized correctly in the dark.
Julz(HOLLA!) and I were really excited for this race because it was our big hyped up local tri, but without the anxiety of an Olympic Distance. We were also coming off an inspirational high that our kids just did the Omaha Kids Triathlon the day before. They were so focused and rocked it out. I love to see them cross the finish line. I love that they now know what we go through, and why we do it…for the free t_shirt.
And here is a note on how to make friends at port_a_potties _ I always bring wet wipes with me. Nothing says Tri Mom like rolling up in your minivan, and showing up with wet wipes. But when you roll up to a port_a_potty at a triathlon, everyone’s in line for the same thing…that uh, morning uh, throne sitting, and you’re the only one with wet wipes. It’s kinda a luxury item in the tri bag. So, I always announce that I will share. And that is how to make friends at 5 a.m. at a port_a_potty. I’m giving like that. Then I leave the package of wipes in the stall for those too weak to speak out about their morning ritual. You’re welcome, y’all.
The swim was fantastic. I swam way outside and probably added a minute or two on my time, but saved getting kicked in the face, so that’s nice. It’s my token move _ whatever it takes to avoid confrontation. I’d seek therapy for it, but I’m pretty sure it’s the smarter move to avoid confrontation in the middle of a lake with 300 other flailing competitors. I’m just sayin. The water was a great temperature and all was right with the world.
The two chumps who set up this course are on my poop list for several reasons _ some of which I’m still irked about from the Women’s Tri _ but here’s my uh, concern for this particular tri _ everything is uphill. The run from swim to the transition area is up a steep hill, I’m already sucking air, and I’m barefoot bouncing around in my swim suit. Thanks guys. The same steep hill leads to the finish line. You go to sprint to the finish, but start falling backwards. What’s up with that?
I get up there, get through my T1 (that’s transition one), and get out on the bike course. I’m pretty sure something’s wrong with my bike, because I feel like my legs are on fire, I’m pushing as hard as I can to go, and I’m getting passed like I’m a parked car. What’s up with this bike? But it turns out it’s just me out of shape. Nice. I did have my gears off a bit, so I figured that out, and went on my merry way. The bike is my weakest leg of the race. That, and I have a slice of humble pie when I have about 50 minutes to think about how out of shape I really am and how I probably should stop going to spin classes and ride my bike up actual hills a bit more. Probably a good idea.
I get to the turn around and am pleasantly surprised that I’m halfway there sooner than I thought! Yay!
After the turnaround, I see a guy walking his bike going out on the course that I’m coming in from. I’m going slow enough to assess this guy is in the front of the pack of the Olympic Distance. I do this by noting his svelt body, his pro tri suit, and his very fancy silver aerodynamic (pointy in the back) cycling helmet. “You got a flat?” Which really, that reads poorly, but when out of breath and in the middle of a triathlon, I claim the right to speak grammatically incorrect, yet effective in communication.
“Yeah” He said and then I kept going and left him. Hahahahha! Well, hold on…I’ll redeem myself.
What he doesn’t know is this average athlete is about to help him out. I have a phone in my little bike bag. Most triathletes have some kind of quick flat tire changer in their bike bag _ or no bike bag to weigh down their uber light titanium $10,000 bike. Not me. You know how I change a flat? I make friends with the mobile bike unit guy and get his number. I grab my phone out of my bike bag and call the coolest bike guy. He’s cool because he gave me his number. I’ve had it for over a year, and this is the first time I get to use it. I hope he gave me the right number. Let’s test this out. “Hey…It’s LESLIE!!! HAHAHAHAH! No, no, I’m fine, but there’s a guy at mile 14 with a flat. Looks like he’s a pretty good contender, might wanna help him out.”
Yeah, I’m pretty awesome. I called for help while clipped in and “racing” (read that last word while using your own quote fingers. It’s okay.) So see, us professional average pudgy triathletes are loud and obnoxious and have the audacity to encourage you when you fly by us. You know who we are. You’re generous with us when you don’t pummel us over while passing. We try to stay out of your way. But today, we shared a moment on the course. I’m sure my efforts helped the guy back on track to win the race. I’m going to go ahead and claim that because I didn’t get his bib number, and pretty much, with those helmets on, I think it’s safe to say that yes, all triathletes look alike. So I can’t check. I’ll just go ahead and assume I helped some guy win it all.
I head back into the park to finish the bike, and what is this? Another uphill finish. Hey fellas, for photography’s sake, and for the sake of my kids watching me bring this bitch of a ride in, how about you find a better more downhill return to transition? How about you put transition at the bottom of the hill next year? Heck, even at a flat would be great. Geez.
My T2 (uh, Transition two) is faster because I have cool accessories like zip ties on my shoes. I switch out shoes, take a swig of water, exchange helmet for running visor and go. And there’s the jello legs. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I will give the race coordinators a little nudge here, the run out of transition IS down hill. Then it’s uphill again. I hear my name from two fellow tri pals. They opted to not do this race. I’d ask why, but I’m going uphill, can’t breathe, and I think I’ve figured out they knew better than to sign up for this course. It’s HARD! Still, the fact that Heather and Barb showed up at 6 a.m. to cheer on fellow triathlon pals, says a lot. I really should do that some time.
I wave, thank them, and turn toward the course and there’s an off road hill that is so steep, it looks like it could use a safety rail. It’s probably one of Omaha’s premiere sledding slopes, and I’m climbing up it with my kids watching. As soon as I get out of sight, I walk about a minute to let my lungs and quads catch up with the rest of me. There’s a couple of other steep hills that are sooo steep….”How steep are they?”…that it’s dangerous for me to even go down hill at this point. And again, although I pleasantly find myself at the turnaround sooner than I’d remembered from last year. Granted, last year, I
ran walked double the distance, so duh, of course the turnaround is closer! And on my way back to finish this entire crazy triathlon, I was reminded of why this particular triathlon is such a big deal _ it’s a really tough course. I’m talking really tough. Yes, I’m out of shape, and have taken my training for granted and become complacent. Sure, all of that. But also, just ask one of those elite triathletes who breezed by me today, they’ll even tell ya, it’s one of the toughest courses of their season. It’s uphill on the bike and run, the entire way. (How do they do that anyway?) If possible, I’m certain that swim was uphill as well. I’m looking into it. So, hi_fives to me, for not only doing it, but meeting my goal of under two hours _ I came in at 1 hour and 50 minutes.
I am so proud of Julianne who sprinted up that hill to the finish and had a great time as well. Every finish with JulzHOLLA!, every hug at the finish line, crushes every doubt as to why we do this: for the glory. And for the t_shirts of course.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: Good Life by One Republic
When the Hy Vee opened at the front of our subdivision, we might have gone and taken pictures. Some people take their kids to Disneyworld…I mean really, look at that beautiful artwork of veggies at the grocery store!
Today I decided to do something unprecedented, to prove one of my claims. The one where I claim that I’m getting a workout while grocery shopping. I keep trying to explain to the trainers at my gym, that the way I do grocery shopping, it’s a workout. So, I decided to prove it. My pre_game warm up was a shower, coffee and stretch. I put my Nike + chip on my flip flop (I figured my running shoes was a bit overkill) and with lists in hand, and planned my 2 hour happy mommy time for giant grocery shopping. The Nike+ chip, magically calculates your pace, your calories burned, and the distance you went.
If you must know _ giant grocery shopping day consists of venturing to three separate stores. I know, it’s a little excessive, but once all the groceries are in my house, it’s extremely efficient. Really. Don’t judge, you who goes to the grocery store 4 times a week.
My first trip was to Walmart. I park, and the guy next to me in an off_white Cadillac Escalade backs out of his space. I collect all of my stuff, get my ipod touch in the arm band, turn it on and head into the store. My point is, once I put the car in park, and that other car left, it had been a while. As I’m walking in, the Escalade is just sitting there waiting to turn out of the parking lane. He has opportunity, but does not. And as I walk past the Escalade, the window goes down and some redneck who apparently left his diesel truck and teeth at home says, “Hey thar, you always smile so perty like that?” Uh, yes I do, until creepy people acknowledge it. Look mister, I love food, and I love cooking, and I love that I have the time and money to fill my fridge. So, move along. And welcome to Walmart.
I actually went to Walmart just to get a cheap blender. I busted my other cheap blender _ you know _ from blending. One day I’ll figure out that with appliances, you get what you pay for. You can keep paying for the cheap, or you can drop more coin less frequently and get a billy bad ass blender. But not today. Today, I’m grabbing another cheap blender. But I decide to grab as much as I can on the list while I’m here. I weave in and out, dodging the unhelpful workers blocking the aisle while they stock shelves and when I get to the check out lane, I assess my mileage. I’ve gone 1 mile in 30 minutes, and I’ve burned 160 calories from walking. Sweet!
The next stop is Sam’s Club. My walk into the store is much less eventful. But when I show my card, the friendly greeter says, “Hi Leslie.” Okay y’all, it’s food in bulk. What could possibly make me happier? And yes, I go there and buy happiness. It’s possible. I do it every week. They know me here. It’s a smaller list at Sam’s today. I do my walk through, and walk .9 miles and burn 140 calories in 27 minutes.
Intermission _ it was too hot to leave the groceries in the car and go to my last stop, the higher order of all grocery stores _ HyVee. “Where there’s a helpful smile in every aisle.”
So, I went home, unloaded all the stuff, replenished my electrolytes (lunch), and went back out.
I heart HyVee. The aisles are wider, the people are friendlier, even the moms beating their kids and screaming No! at them. They’re doing it in a nicer tone. The employees have actual answers and are helpful. And they have woopie pies in the bakery. I get to the check out, piss off the sacker guy with the announcement that I want paper, not plastic. And I check my ipod to find I’ve burned 155 calories, gone another mile and at the same 30 minute pace. The checker chick is not amused at the smile on my face like the Escalade guy was. And I’m okay with that.
Granted, I averaged a 30 minute mile pace, but I just did 3 miles and burned 450 calories. And that’s just from the walking, that’s not from all the lifting into the cart, out of the cart on to the conveyor belt, back out of the cart into the car, out of the car into the house. None of that.
So, I skipped my workout and had an ice cream.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the day: Delight (Something New Under the Sun)_ Court Yard Hounds
Today has been a fun day of us being the cool house. It’s pretty rare. Most days, if the neighbor kids are available, Max and Lucy are at their houses. Although I enjoy the quiet to
It also helps when the kids go off to their respective neighbor pals’ houses. When Ricardo or I work from home, and the kids gather here, inevitably the kids start screaming, the the dog poops, runs through the house and barks only when Ricardo‘s work calls. Going over to their pals’ house has its benefits.
Still, I have a secret yearning to be the cool house and have all the kids here. My pal’s wife used to tell me, “When they’re in high school, let them bring all their friends home for lunch. Make them whatever they want. Then just sit back and listen.” Brilliant. The kids are only 8 years old but still, I should get into practice as the cool house. Probably not real cool to serve fresh fruit and greek yogurt for snacks. Water, Organic Milk, or 100% juice for drink. ALL the OTHER kids have Cheezits, Spaghettios, and cokes overflowing at their houses. Or so my kids report. I’m trying to appease the masses, but just harboring Spaghettios in my house kind of makes me throw up a little bit. I have my limits.
And since I have my limits, and “Daddy’s working, y’all have to be quiet” and it’s summer, well, the kids scatter. Until today, where they all migrated to the land of Leslie. All. Of. Them. It just so happens that one day about once a month, I have to grade speeches. And it just so happens that the speeches all had technical difficulties. I’ve been on the phone with the campus IT guy. There goes the dog with her barking, and why is there a marching band in my house? Oh wait, that’s just the 9 (NINE) kids fighting to play Little Big Planet with only 3 controllers. I’m trying to deduce what would be more cost efficient: a sound proof room with a lock on the outside of the door, or 4 more PS3 controllers. I’m pretty sure the sound proof room would be more budget friendly.
I have lots of little talks with myself all day. Like, “Hey, you wanted this, remember” and “Hey, now you know how the neighbors feel all the other days of summer.” That’s true, because through the joyous shrills of gamers in my living room, it’s Max and Lucy hitting the highest noise decibels. It is summer, they are 8 years old, and all I hear is gleeful shrieks of joy and all things fun. I opt to roll with it. I get my noise cancelling headphones out and work on.
Late in the afternoon the gang starts tapering off and going home. The last two with the announcement that their mom is going to work and the babysitter is here and they have to go home. Max takes full advantage of having some unlocked new level all to himself. Lucy has gone over to the other neighbor’s house.
I power out my last two speeches on Helen Keller and Michael Jordan. (Neither were done due justice). And I stand up to get a glass of
vodka water, when I notice a new girl in the house. The two kids came back and now there’s a third. But who is she? I just chalk it up to the fact that I AM the COOL HOUSE NOW, mutha uckas! And I carry on. But new girl has peaked my interest. When Max rolls through, I ask, “Who is that with the kids?”
“It’s their babysitter”, he whispers. You can tell he thinks it’s a little weird, but he doesn’t really have time to care because now they are in some new land they’ve just discovered and he has to go create his go kart for it. He does not have time to ask questions.
The babysitter? Someone else’s babysitter is at my house with their kids? I guess this is ok. What? I’m confused. I’m fascinated. The babysitter is about 12 years old. Looks as sweet as apple pie while she texts with one hand and fends Maybee off with the other.
I must admit, I’ve deduced what probably went on when the babysitter showed up, my neighbor probably said, “Okay kids, you can’t go anywhere without the sitter.”
What the mom probably meant was, you can go the park, but she has to go with you. All that. But the kids have done some fantastic problem solving. It’s probably algaebra at it’s finest. I can hear their wheels spinning: “Okay, Mom told us we had to come home because the babysitter was here. And then she told us we couldn’t go anywhere without her. But she did NOT say, you can’t go back over to Max and Lucy’s.” And the babysitter is just young enough to go along with their plan.
I’m impressed. But still, it’s weird right?
Do I text my neighbor friend, “Hey, your kids are over here with their babysitter. Hope you’re not paying her.” No, that sounds like tattling. I’ll save tattling for something better.
Do I send them home? On what grounds?
Do I grab Chris and go on a date and leave the kids with her sitter?
Ricardo at some point tells me to calm down that nothing’s wrong. But I’m not mad at all. I’m actually kind of amused. I’m conflicted, do I do nothing or do anything? It’s a weird funny interesting, situation. I mean, if I’m paying a kid to watch my kids and the babysitter goes over with the kids to play, that’s weird, right?
I opt to do nothing, and then I make dinner. Max asks me what’s for dinner. And so I proudly announce: “Ginger Soy Chicken with Edamame Stir Fry.”
Max assesses that announcement and is okay with it. But the neighbor kids look at each other with ICKY GROSS FACES and grab their babysitter head home.
My job here is done.
That’s how I roll.
Song of the Day: Beautiful Stranger
I love roadtrips mainly because of the route of conversations you get to. We were coming home from our big fun family vacation (more on that later) and we got to talking about how we have no reference of having older or younger kids because we have twins.
Max was trying to convince us how hard it was to be the youngest. I guess his strongest argument is that he’s an hour and a half younger. Not that mumbo jumbo 1-2 minutes crap.
The boy is practically in tears as he explains, “It’s just that I feel like its because I’m the youngest that I have to do everything for everyone else.”
Okay, a) are you effing kidding me kid, because I’M the one doing everything for everyone. And 2) its not because you’re the youngest bub. Its because you’re never sitting down. But whatevs.I didn’t say that outloud…yet.
I’m just about to destroy this guy and Ricardo interrupts my mental lecturing with:
“I’m sorry you feel that way son, now go make me a sandwich.”
I peeked back to see Max grinning. Later, he’ll deny it. And he’ll make his dad a sandwich.
That’s how I roll.