Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In which I yell at a bald eagle, AND try to remember to breathe

It's amazing how getting busy can pull me away from the things I want to be doing. My original passion was writing, and it's a muscle that I don't get to exercise everyday. Much like my other muscles, now that I've gotten back in the habit, it's something I miss when I, well, miss it.

So today, I've got two blog posts in my head, that if I don't get out of my head now, I'm not sure when I will have time.

So my best workout in the last two weeks was a swim at Lake Washington on Saturday morning. Bright and early at Seward Park you can at least get a parking spot, but there is still a lot more activity, both people out running or riding or swimming, and this week, with the birds.

As my neighbor and I got ready to get in the water, we paused to watch a beautiful, adult bald eagle that was circling the cove where we swim. We next noticed a LOT of quacking each time he approached the water and realized what had his attention. There were two groups of ducks, of one adults, and another of a mother with her ducklings. It only took a split second to figure out that this was the circle of life at work. The eagle was planning a duckling breakfast.

I understand that this is the way that the world works. I am not a vegan or anything like that, but I admit, I get squeamish when it hits too close to home. (I got mad at the caterers at my wedding for leaving the head on the salmon in the buffet- I mean seriously, who wants to look their lunch in the eye?) I know the eagle was just doing what eagles do, but I simply couldn't watch.

After trying to ignore a couple more close calls, I couldn't just let it happen. So there I was, wet suit, swim cap, goggles on my head, waving my arms in the air and yelling at a bald eagle. I didn't actually threaten it, so I don't think I broke any laws about protected birds, I just told him to go away, and eat somewhere else. He circled one more time and took off. I didn't see if he had a duckling with him, but considering how quickly the ducks calmed, and that I didn't hear a duckling when he flew away, I think he just left. Hopefully he got himself a fish. I'm not really excited about swimming with them, even though I know it's their lake, not mine.

After that, the swim went fairly well. I'm still trying to stay slower, and not attack the water, so that I don't have to stop and catch my breath. I also picked up my brand new wetsuit of my very own, a Blue Seventy WLA. Considering the height & weight charts, I'm excited that it goes on, although it is tighter, and I have not yet been out in it.

This worries me a little, the lack of time that I've been training for the last 2.5 weeks, because SATURDAY is my first big event. It's in Portland, the Tri-It at the All Women's Tri/Du at Blue Lake, just east of Portland.

So here are the reasons that I'm hyperventilating:
  1. In case you haven't heard, we're having a little bit of a heat wave here. It's supposed to break on Friday, but weather and supposed to doesn't always mean it will happen here in the Pacific NW. There is a reason my friends Scott and Steve called their book about being weather guys "Somewhere, I Was Right."
  2. I have not yet been for a swim in my new wetsuit. I'm planning to on Thursday, but I know of something that will keep me busy Thursday night at work, so I'm a little concerned about it not happening.
  3. I got new tires on my bike this weekend. Road tires vs. off-road tires. I have not been out on them either.
  4. Did I mention that this is MY VERY FIRST TRIATHLON EVER?

When I did the 3 day, it was the 1st year in Seattle, 2001. And it was the hottest day of the year. On the first afternoon, as I came over the crest of the last hill, I saw all of the local TV helicopters circling our camp for the night. After I called the newsroom where I worked at the time, I learned that people were pushing themselves too hard, and needing medical attention. I was not one of those people. I trained my ass off (literally- I lost 50 lbs) and when I was too hot, I sat down.

So now I'm trying to thing of songs to get stuck in my head. A mental soundtrack to help me SLOW DOWN. When I swim with my friend who goes slower, I have had "You Are Not Alone," by MJ, but I don't think that's really what I want. My usually lately has been Pink's, "So What," but that will keep my pace too fast.

My mantra for this week's race. Finish. I don't need to win anything. It's enough as long as I finish.

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