Saturday, March 31, 2007
Zym has fewer electrolytes than Nuun and it's more expensive. I noted that in their "comparison" page, they compared themselves to standard sports drinks and didn't even mention the existance of Nuun.
Zym, you're a wanna be. You'll never convince me to leave our precious, beloved Nuun. NEVAH!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Both Sweet Baboo and I spent our formative years in Texas; I was born here and moved away for a while until I was in middle school. He was raised here pretty much most of his life and then moved to New Mexico when he was 18. He loves the hill country. I'm pretty much happy in most places, although I have some caveats about south Texas.
- I do love this house. It's a well-built single level Texas ranch house with limestone facing, sitting towards the front of 15 acres of land. The land has mesquite, prickly pear, and mule dear on it.
- Sweet Baboo looks awfully at home on the tractor.
- If I were to show up and say, "hey, anybody need a seasoned math teacher?" that they'd fall all over me and worship me AND I'd get a signing bonus, usually money paid in the first and fifth months of the first year of teaching, anywhere from 1 to 2 thou each payment.
- It's mostly flat here so I could commute by bike just about anywhere
- Other than the 3 months in which I would dedicate my life to indoor air conditioners, I could train year round, because the winters are so mild.
- DirecTV and cable Internet are available here. That's a plus. I don't mind country life as long as I have those things and am on a well-established UPS route.
- Have you ever seen Texas Bluebonnets in bloom? IN fact, most mornings, this whole area looks like a Thomas Kincaid painting.
- There is no shortage of available running and triathlon events in this part of Texas.
- It's awfully humid here. I hate humidity. I went for an easy 3-4 mile run this morning and came back just dripping. I just love the crisp, arid mornings in New Mexico.
- 17 - count them - 17 dogs chased me. Not sure the country life is for me.
- Lots of rain.
- Not sure how a severely-left-leaning vegan liberal hippie type like me would be looked upon here. Most Texans are rather live-and-let live, except for the rare types that keep large amounts of dogs, and, uh, let them run with impunity...
- Did I mention how much I hate humidity? It makes your skin look great, all dewy and stuff, but your hair looks like your some sort of heroin addict. Lots of women here cut their hair SHORT. I could see doing that. MAYBE I could get used to the humidity. I must say that after my run and a good shower, I felt GREAT. Given my ashtma and such it might even be better for me than dry air.
- I am allergic to most things green, and it's very green here . I haven't had any problems yet, though, and it's spring here.
- Actually, there's an asequia in the front that usually runs pretty fast in the growing season. It could sort of function as a slightly muddy "endless pool".
- Unfortunately, I do not like Thomas Kincaid. I think his stuff is kind of schmaltzy. I'm not of the "country decor" type. I'm of the insane, eclectic with mexican, retro overtones.
So that's it, that's my current dillemma. I suppose I don't have to make decisions now; I just hve to decide on it some time in the future.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
This morning I did the Sully Super Sprint at Sul Ross University. Alpine, Texas is about 3 hours' drive from El Paso, as you head east. It's just above Big Bend.
The first day after we arrived, Sweet Baboo went for a 90-mile bike ride down 118 into Big Bend territory. Helen, Stuart, and I drove after him after a while and met up with him just inside the park. After this, we ate sandwitches and went into some hot springs that few people know about. Very cool. Later that night, we went for packet pickup and then ate at Trattoria, where I had some excellent penne and rosemary bread. They do nice lattes and cuppacinos, and have very nice food; too bad they aren't open on Sundays.
Well, so now to the race. It was the worst of times; it was the best of times. The worst of times was the run - I will be uploading a profile of this run so that you can see. It was like I imagine running around in San Francisco would be like. Up the hill. Down the hill. Up another hill. Down a sharp incline. Up another mother f*&^%ng hill.
I was sucking wind, and wound up third from last on the run; I don't know my time but I do know who was in front of me and who was behind me, so I'm going to contact them and average it. At the time, though, I was too tired to even care. I usually count on having some kind of advantage being from about 5000 feet above sea level, but Alpine is 4800 feet above sea level, so I got no advantage at all, and some humidity to boot. And of course, the hills.
Those damned hills. My heart rate soared up to the low 170's and wouldn't come down. Before long I was third from last, as I came huffing and puffing into T1. I didn't look down to see what my run time was. I didn't want to know what my run time was. That run kicked my ass. A lot of people were sucking wind.
Then, it was onto the bike - the best of times for me. The bike course starts out with you rolling down the parking lot, about a grade 9 or so, and then making a sharp right turn onto the main road through town. Even before I got on the bike I was worried; as you may recall my last experience on the bike was less than satisfying, owing to the fact that my brakes were on most of the time. So, the little voice inside my head was saying, "what if it WASN'T the brakes? What if you really DO suck that much? Then what will you do?" But in any case I got on and headed out.
This was where, I found out that the spin classes actually worked. They worked! I faced each incline with a general feeling of dread but then they were just no big deal. The bike was fairly straight out and back with rollers, and a fantastic lack of wind form the most part. I think I did the fifteen miles in a little under and hour, dropping about 8 or 9 people on the bike course.
The swim was 365 yards, and I did it in about 9 minutes, I think. It wasn't my best swim, but then I've been in the pool 3 times since last December, so it wasn't too bad. I dropped a few people in the pool, and it wa at the this time that I started thinking, you know, if my run didn't suck so much I might be a halfway decent athlete.
The coolest part was that there was nobody else was in my age division...so...I got some hardware. I'm never complaining about that! Since they don't have Athena or Clydesdale divisions, sweet baboo raced in his age group and got 2nd place. Of the over 40 clydesdalaes that were there, I think he was first.
It was a pretty well run race with a nice course - the run will challange you, but if you ever want to visit a tiny town near Big Bend Park in Texas, come on out and try the Sully Super Sprint!
Tomorrow we'll head out to San Antonio to see Sweet Baboo's mom. My next scheduled race is the MVTC in Las Cruces, New Mexico this coming Saturday.
Added later: I'm not sure when this will get posted. We see lots of places that have wireless but their internet connections all seem to be down, and Sweet Baboo's mom has a dial-up, so it may be a while. Cheers!
Friday, March 23, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
As well, inferences were made by another, who will not be identified, that Sweet Baboo is spoiled. I would be remiss to allow this to continue to remain in anyone's mind for very long.
Nor would it be fair for me to completely blame forgetfulness on Ironman training, particularly since I would like to announce publicly that the Baboo apparently did NOT forget me but instead was waiting for the weekend, at which point he purchased for me many birthday items of spring clothing that I was sorely wishing to have, having donated all my very old XL spring clothing to Goodwill last fall. (By the way, I'm happy to report that, in most aspects, my ass is now considered, at least by the clothing industry, to be medium-sized) But I digress.
The following is the list of Sweet Baboo's responsibilities, which is to say, these are the things that I miss when he is in his heavy training day fog:
- Launderer and clothes washer
- buyer of all things sparkly
- buyer of most things perfumey
- finder of My Lost Stuff
- Replacer of my Lost Stuff that Cannot Be Found
- junk-mail shredder
- pizza orderer
- Idea man for fun ideas of what to do now
- check-book balancer
- movie picker (most of the time)
- travel route planner and hotel reservations maker
- chief bread-winner
- scraper of all windshields icy
- fish feeder
- self-esteem booster
- investigator of future athletic gear purchases
- reminder of Things I Have Forgotten
- difficult jar and bottle opener
- getter of all things High and Out of My Reach
- main disciplinarian
and of course: eye candy.
In any case, it is precisely because the Baboo handles so much of life's niceties and removes the unpleasantries from my awareness that I do notice when he gets distracted. 99% of the time, I wonder through life in a nice little bubble knowing that there is insurance, triple-A, and a cell phone to protect me. I know the car will start, the lights will come on, the water will run, and the heat or a/c will work.
In my pre-Baboo life these things were taken care of by me and, I must say, not very well, either. I am, shall we say, a bit scattered at times. On more than one occasion the insurance lapsed and I couldn't afford my asthma medicine and the lights didn't come on because I forgot to pay the electric bill or I ran out of heating fuel and had to burn wood. When the electricity was cut off I would tell the kids we having a magic comping adventure...in the house. Anyway, all that is behind me now, thanks to Sweet Baboo. As a result, I have two periods in my life: PSB (pre-sweet baboo) and SSB (since sweet baboo).
And so for him I will cook large pots of food and try to have them ready as soon as is reasonably possible so that he doesn't have to start chewing on his clothes or eat one of the cats, and hug and kiss him no matter how sweaty he is. This summer I start my training, I'll be off work so I'll cook a lot in advance so that there's lots of food around for both of us so that we can both wonder about in a fog. Most of all, though, I'll make sure I can do what I can so that he can continue to hurl himself pell-mell through the world of ultra-endurance whatever, since it makes him happy. A happy sweet Baboo is the best sweet Baboo of all.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
There's probably been plenty said about the single-minded determinedness that leaves spouses in the dust when one spouse endeavors to become an ironman triathlete...but I'm never one to be at a loss for words, so I'll put my 2 cents in. I'm writing this not because I'm complaining. I'm just letting you, the spouse, know what you're in for.
First, Sweet Baboo is gone a lot. He does 100-miler bike rides on Saturdays and long runs on Sundays and the rest of week he's out of the house at 5:00 am to swim and/or run and/or bike to work. Then he's gone until 6 or so at night.
When he does get home he's so painfully hungry that he starts rummaging through the kitchen like a heroin addict looking for a fix. This is good, because he doesn't complain about the food. This is bad because, well, if food isn't ready when he gets here it can get U-huh-gly. So, on days when I have to work I get home just before he does, and then I have to deal with the guilt of my Sweet Baboo as a poster child for starvation. He practically sits on his hands so that he doesn't start chewing his nails, waiting for food.
On wednesday he had a coworker pick him up in the morning so he run home. It was about a 14-mile run, but the first 1/4 of it was downhill, and he vastly underestimated the toll it would take on his quads. Meanwhile, it's suddenly decided to be spring here and the afternoon temps are in the 70's, and the New Mexico sun is at its finest: direct and hot. Ah, you think, but it's a dry heat? That's meaningless when running 15 miles. But in any case he arrived home and just sat in the driveway for about 10 minutes in a pained, sweaty daze. The Baboo was out of commission, physically speaking, and hobbled around the house for a few days muttering repeatedly under his breath, "I really did not expect that run to have this kind of effect on me."
The Baboo has also been wondering around in a fog for the last few weeks. He's somewhat distracted, repeats himself, and has gotten very forgetful. Bills get paid...not late, but certainly not with the chipper swiftness that they got paid in pre-ironman training days. I have to remind him of things. (Some of the things he's forgotten I haven't the heart to tell him about.) I just shrug and remind myself that he is still the finest person I've ever met, and that this is all inadvertant, even if he is reapidly becoming the absent-minded professor.
In any case this may interest you, the future ironman...or you, the future spouse of an ironman. It sure as hell interests me. After all, I'll begin my training in ernest after spring break and,
I'm wondering if I'm going to be as scattered and tired as Baboo has been lately...
if the two of us are like this, heaven help Mini Baboo, aka the Jonster. He may have to subsist on ramen and peanut butter until after it's all over.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
I didn't know what feminism was for a long time. All I knew was that in 1970 my mom cut off her blond beehive and dyed her hair back to its natural brown color. I just came home from school and it was that way, and after that day, I never again saw my mother in a dress or heels again. She wore comfortable clothes and shoes.
What Five Things can I thank feminism for?
- Choices. I tend to like wearing girly things, although I will admit I'm partial to the more sensible shoes, and I chose a traditional woman's career while my kids were young, although I didn't have to. I'm thankful for the range of possibilities that have always lain before me.
- Comfort. When I'm doing my LSR or a triathlon, I'm thankful that I don't live in a country where I would be stoned to death for flimsy wearing shorts and crop tops, or for removing the latter and stripping down to the jogging bra.
- "Title IX" At work nearly every day adolescent girls will tell me, with breathless excitement, about the game they played the day before, the race they ran, or the opponent they wrestled. I've taught a female football player. Nobody can tell them ever again that girls can't play sports, or that they're unfeminine.
- Salary. I'm thankful that it's illegal for the school district where I work to pay male teachers more because they're heads of their households.
- Medicine. I'm thankful for the advances in women's health care. It used to be that drugs and procedures were only tested on men.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
After two weeks of languishing in flannel sheets I'd decided on a new tactic: Denial. "I am not sick. I will not cough up a lung on the Bosque trail. I am fit and well and I will run, albeit verrrrry slowly and gently, on this beautiful spring day."
OMG, it was a gorgeous day. It's finally-sort-of-kind-of-spring-ish here in Albuquerque (it doesn't officially become spring until sometime after mid-April, when the danger of late spring snowstorms is past) but it's been consistently 40 F and above (4.5 C, for our International Friends!) which means that I'm all out of excuses. Plus, lets face it, temps in the 40's and 50's are just AWESOME for running.
I took a different route down the trail to Central (old Route 66 as it passes through Albuquerque) and back, and it was 10.36 miles, according to the route thingy in Beginner Triathlete. It goes past the south end of the Botanical Gardens, not that you get to see anything, but the path narrows quite a bit when you hit the south end of town so there's less people on it. While I was running I listened to some older songs which provided my sermon for the day.
Oh, You Can't Always Get What You Want...
When I turned around, I turned into a newly freshened wind which made me swear a bit. MOTHERF^&*#R, I hate wind. But all in all, when you consider the wind, and the fact that I haven't run in two weeks, haven't done a long run in three weeks, it wasn't too bad; it took me 2:33:09, and that's even counting all the times that I stopped and grabbed a trail marker and coughed my guts out (Now I know how my cats feel).
But, at least I was running. I heart my Sunday mornings at my Church of the Bosque Trail. I can mull over the week I've just had, the week to come, or just free associate and let things flow through my mind. I figure out a lot that way. I get a lot of peace that way. I'm not all worried I can't keep up with most groups for training runs. I like running alone. It's my "me time." You know, I hear that a lot, especially from women - that running is their "alone" time. When I'm running, I don't have to answer any questions, soothe any egos, make anybody feel better, or smarter, or calm anybody down, or mediate any conficts, or deflect tempers.
In any case, it wasn't as fast or as long as I could have liked; I needed to take it easy because I'm still getting over this, this, whatever it is - cold, flu, hairballs, who knows. But I got my "me time", and it was great.
You can't always get what you want.
But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
The Interview I had on Thursday was for a high school substance abuse counselor. I felt like things went well, and the enormous amount of OTC cold meds I took managed to stave off symptoms until after the interview, when I got in my car and coughed continuously all the way home.
After 8 years of teaching I'm ready to leave the classroom. When I first started teaching, it was my goal to make every kid love science and math. Over the past few years my goals have changed. Now I want school to be a positive, stable place (for many kids it's the only stable place) so that they'll stay and graduate and have positive associations with education.
That's why I'm so bitter about NCLB. I hate the effect it has on school environment and kids. I firmly believe that NCLB's lasting legacy will be kids who are squeezed out of school because they don't boost the data.
I was certified as a school counselor 3 years ago, but since I already have a job, I've been limiting my applications to those within my district. The problem is, I'm a veteran math and science teacher. There is a critical shortage of math teachers in the US. The last two times I was seriously job searching, all I did was walk into a district office and ask if there were any math openings. I was asked if I could be at an interview in an hour, and they didn't care how I was dressed. Each time after the interview I had to promise that, yes, I would be back to teach math for them.
There is not, however, a critical shortage of counselors. In my district, there are several dozen applicants for each counselor opening. There's no way they'll vacate a veteran math and science position to fill a counseling opening.
So, Thursday's interview was with Albuquerque Public Schools. They don't know me; I can't rely on my reputation. They don't know that, unofficially, some students with certain "issues" are placed in my classroom, nor have they sat with me at parent-student meetings, nor have they observed my classroom. So I had 45 minutes to dazzle them and convince them of my competence. So, we'll see. I feel like things went well, but I'm realistic.
In the meantime, I keep reminding myself that I have a job, and it's steady and it doesn't suck. Yet.
Friday, March 09, 2007
- I was requested to write a letter of explanation about what happened.
- My boss and the head guideance counselor at my school were questioned as to the nature of training in testing procedures and test security I had received.
- My boss, the school principal, called me at home last night to let me know that a District Office Representative would "visiting with me" today to as part of his investigation into the matter.
- The DO rep pulled me out of a class that I was teaching and a substitute was assigned to my room for about 20 minutes while I was questioned about the incident.
- They then sent a sub into the classroom of my helpful (and unlucky) colleague whose misfortune it was to have offered to carry my box of tests upstairs for me so that they could question him.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
I'm going to lie down in my darkened classroom during my planning period with my white noise machine on and see if that makes me feel at all better.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, will introduce new carbonated drinks that are fortified with vitamins and minerals: Diet Coke Plus and Tava, which is PepsiCo’s new offering.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I've tried experimenting: taking benedryl, and then waiting for it to wear off, and then a compresensive cold medicine, and waiting for it to wear off, and then a comprehensive allergy medicine, and waiting for it to wear off; the hypothesis was that if I compared the results among all three, I could tell what it was from which one actually worked. The experiment was a complete failure because none of them worked, and I think Sweet Baboo is tired of the very wet sounds coming from my head, but loves me too much to do anything but turn up the volume on whatever it is we're listening to so he doesn't have to hear it. He hates bodily excretions, and so do I.
Sunday is normally my long run day, and I'm probably going to try trotting it out on the treadmill, because slow running is about all I can handle right now. Even on my normal days running I produce an impressive amount of snot, but right now even I find myself disgusting, so I'm going to try popping a movie in and stay indoors, not just because it's 20 degrees in the morning here but also because I've had a bit of dizziness along with my generally flemmy snottiness, and as I mentioned before, it's all Jane's fault.
It's all Jane's fault because last week were at an Outlaws meeting and I was kinda sorta but not really bragging about how I don't get cramps, or join pain, or blisters, so nothing keeps me from running outside my own laziness, and she kind of gasped and said, "You better be touching wood when you say that," and I was so I just smiled.
What she didn't tell me, and this is why it's all her fault, is that I was perhaps leaning on laminate at the time instead of solid wood, which for the evil genie that hammers us when we say things like, "Oh, nothing ever keeps me from running," doesn't count. So the evil genie wammied me to remind me to never take anything for granted and that I'm mortal, after all.
The best I can manage right now is about a slow-run pace on a treadmill. I can't do speedwork and I can't run outside or I'll drown in my own snot or double over in some kind of coughing fit.
So now, I finally get it. I've been feeling bad for Sweet Baboo when he couldn't run because of various maladies and broken bones, but in a loving, wifey sort of way. I didn't actually feel his pain, just sensed a general crankiness about him. I also felt bad for Jane, and Helen, and various other friends of mine who have had awful injuries and couldn't run, but I didn't understand what it was like to not be able to run. But now I get it.
There's a huge difference between not running out of pure laziness and not being able to run. The latter is so frustrating that it makes me feel a combination of anger, dispair, and dread that I'm hurtling back through time to the time when I hoped feverently to be able to run a whole 5K some day. As I'm sitting up in bed coughing and blowing my nose I imagine that I can feel the muscles in my legs atrophying. I imagine that I can see the layers of fat forming on my body, my tendons stiffening, and my resting heartrate rising 20-beats to what it used to be, my whole body reverting to it's flabby, former self, unable to even handle a flight of stairs.
So, okay, I get it. And I'm touching real wood this time.
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