Littlefoot Triathlon – Race Recap

Oh man.

This summer I planned to do no races, to enjoy my summer, and to go to more happy hours. And I have! I have spent a lot of time drinking beers on patios, sitting on the couch, working, and very little time working out. As a result I’m slightly squishier but a lot less stressed out than I was this time last summer.

But a few weeks ago Chris and I went for a bike ride and then I hopped off and did a short run. Just to see. Just to see how bad a brick might feel. But it was fine! I was hot and tired, but really, it was fine.

So on a whim, with no training, yesterday afternoon I signed up for the Littlefoot Triathlon, a tiny sprint tri that was this morning. (There were only about 150 racers.) I had done two random 5ks this summer, not really trained, and PR’d both! Maybe 2013 was one long taper I’d benefited from immensely.

Ha. Hahahaha. Oh, Past Mel. How did you get so dumb?

I actually had a lot of fun today, but I totally face-planted in the race. The very short version with random crappy iPhone pictures…

The approach:

Most of my gear came together pretty quickly last night except for 10 tense minutes spent looking for a stray cycling glove. (I have super crappy wrists, I need them even for a short ride.) My alarm didn’t go off (I set it for PM instead of AM) but Chris’s alarm woke me up and I got out the door on time. On the way there, I hit a bump on the freeway and in the rear view mirror watched my bike bounce out of its fastenings on the bike rack and slide dangerously close to flying off. Pulled over, adjusted, drove verrrry carefully the rest of the way.

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The swim:

Always my favorite leg, and I love the part before we start where everyone’s in the water chatting. I haven’t swam (in a pool or in a lake) in a year so I was impressed that I could swim a half mile with no breaks. It wasn’t fast, but I swam pretty straight and was able to pass some folks.

The bike:

Bleh. I think I have realized I do not enjoy cycling, especially on my crappy Target bike. The course wasn’t as hilly as I thought, but it was really curvy, so you had zero momentum going into the uphills. Also, my heart rate was like “WHY DID YOU JUST SWIM SO HARD FOR SO LONG? IS SOMETHING CHASING YOU?” and my heart rate would. Not. Come. Down. Not when I slowed down, not when I had water, not when I took it easy on the uphills.

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The run:

I got off the bike and my legs felt okay-ish, but again my heart rate was like “THIS IS NOT DRINKING BEER. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING??” And by this time it was really hot, and when I tried to run my heart rate exploded and I felt a little dizzy. So since I had no goals, and I was just here for fun, I decided to just walk the 5k. I could have kept up a run/walk situation but…meh. Meh. I say.

I smiled at other racers, chatted with volunteers, and drank a lot of water. It was hot. Then there were fewer people on the course and I got bored. I kind of wished I’d spent my $85 on a new dress.

The finish:

I realized at some point that I was the last finisher, and I felt badly because I think people really like to cheer for last finishers who look like they’re overcoming some hardship but trying really hard. People like it when the last finisher is really old or overweight but doing their best to sprint to the finish! I was just a healthy lady who was not trained at all and being kind of lazy.

When I got to the finish line I tried to nonchalantly saunter across, but the announcer stopped the raffle/awards to call me out, and I waved to the crowd. “Hi! Sorry. Don’t mind me. Are there any vegetarian sandwiches left?” (There weren’t!)

Maybe 15 seconds after I finished, I was slinking off to collect my stuff when the announcer called out my name for first place! Well, only place. In the sadly neglected Athena division. (That means I weigh more than 150 pounds.) I collected my award and marveled at the math that allowed me to be both first and last. Ah, well.

So there’s that. Ninth triathlon in the books. Kind of made an idiot of myself, but I had fun.

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Three footnotes if I could remember how to actually code footnotes:

One, I think I actually came in last place, which is kind of funny. It’s that thing people dread but it’s fine. No one points and laughs at you, you still get the same t-shirt. I’m kind of happy to fall on this sword if it means someone else who would mind doesn’t have to. But, I was also in the last wave, so maybe someone who started 20 minutes ahead of me actually took more time than I did. Who knows.

Two, I wish the Athena division was really a thing. I always sign up for it if it’s an option because seriously, regardless of how in shape you are, it’s just harder to propel 150 pounds around a course than it is 120 pounds, and I’m a big person! I’d like to compete against other big people. I’m tall and broad and the only time in my life I’ve weighed less than 150 pounds was a brief period after college when I engaged in some somewhat disordered habits. Other than that, I’ve fit into the same jeans since high school.

And there were definitely women in that weight range who beat me today who decided to compete in their age group instead. They should have this cool plaque, not me! I mean, to each her own. Thanks for the first place/last place finish, ladies!

Three, race directors: you always run out of the vegetarian sandwiches or burritos! You should have more. I was starving and made a beeline for a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich when I left the park.

It’s for the kids! Drinking, fancy dresses, and volunteering.

So, I always complain about long Mondays, but they’re long because I volunteer for a great cause called Minds Matter, an organization that mentors high-achieving, low-income students. (Now accepting volunteer applications for Fall 2012!)

My favorite part about volunteering is the SAT math prep (I do algebra like other people do crossword puzzles), but my second favorite part is the annual fundraiser! It was on Saturday. Dinner, drinks, dancing, auction, drinks…you know, for the kids.

This year I decided to retire the yellow dress I have worn to basically every cocktail-dress occasion I have attended for the past seven years and I tried Rent the Runway for the first time.


Photo courtesy of 2007. I miss our tiny apartment by the beach sometimes.

Rent the Runway was awesome. I think I will be using it again in the fall for another event. Things I love about it:

·        I got to wear a $400 Badgley Mischka dress to my fancy fundraiser!
·        The grand total was only $64.95 (with a promo code, but it’s the kind of thing where they always have a promo code. I probably get an email from them every other day).
·        I didn’t have to spend any time or money at the dry cleaners.
·        When you pick your dress, they send you two sizes to make sure one fits (good thing since I usually wear a size 12 but needed to size down).
·        They send you a little pack of fashion tape. (Needed one little piece to make the neckline just about an inch more modest.)
·        The reviews online of the dresses are awesome. I love the pictures ladies post of themselves in the dress along with their height and dress size to give you a better idea of how it will look on a real person. (Hi, can we get this at other online stores?)
·        Return process is super duper easy. They give you a prepaid envelope and you just put everything in, seal it up, and drop it in a blue mailbox.

Didn’t love:

·        Getting nickel and dimed for the shipping ($9.95) and insurance ($5) at checkout. Why not just include it in the price since it’s always required?
·        It’s definitely a rental. One of the zippers was a little grumpy and there were a few loose threads on my hem.

My dress was really bright and sparkly and comfortable to boot. I kind of wish I could buy it, but sadly I do not have many occasions for all-over sequins. Although, technically my office doesn’t have a dress code…

Commute Regulars

So, I think this is a thing that mostly happens to people who take the bus or walk or ride their bikes to work, but there’s a group of people I see every morning, or almost every morning. Because most of us are on a pretty steady schedule in the morning. When I take the bus to work, I walk out my door at 6:28. Occassionally 6:29, but never 6:25 and never 6:30. If I Walk to work, it’s 6:25. If I ride my bike I leave by 6:42.

So, as a consequence I see the other people who leave their homes at 6:37 or what have you, and end up at the same intersection every day at the same time I’m there. There’s the guy with good bike lights I see riding up my hill as I coast down. If I walk, I see a man who is a little person and a lady who has spikey hair cut to one inch. On the bus I see the lady with the Crazy Eyes get on at the stop after mine.

So, I wonder if they have ever been like, there’s the lady walking in the light blue coat! Or…there’s the lady riding her bike in a dress! But I don’t know. Because I mostly recognize the people who look a little odd. I remember a lady I always see in a calf-length, Barbie-pink puffy coat. I’m never like…hey, there’s that brown haired girl with a black bag.

Yesterday Chris pulled a coat off a rack at Target and asked me to try it on. Because he said he liked the way it looked and thought it seemed, “So Mel.” (I’ve been known to turn a corner and exclaim, “Ooh, YELLOW!” at a rack of sweaters.)

I was ultimately sold by the fact that it was probably just a good safety investment as a bicycle commuter.

Anyways. I just think that someone, somewhere, someone is going to refer to me as “Yellow Coat Girl.”