Wednesday, August 31, 2005

August training

I started back to training after my accident about three weeks ago, but I had to start back slowly. I had only been able to do short rides on the exercise bike for three weeks before that. At swim practice I'm still doing mostly just kicking and one arm drills, but I've found a way to swim a gentle freestyle with a snorkel and underwater recovery that puts very little strain on my shoulder. I saw the doctor today and he moved my arm around and said the pain I still have is specifically associated with the AC joint(there isn't anything else wrong). He said we just heal more slowly at our age.

Swim: 5 workouts, about 5.8 hours
Bike: 14 workouts, about 10.6 hours
Run: 10 workouts, about 21 miles and 5.3 hours

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


As a teenager I once said something about being sweaty and my grandmother drew herself up and in an authoritarian tone said:
Horses sweat, men perspire, and women glow.
She also complained that public displays of affection were inappropriate.

Monday, August 29, 2005

come see

When a toothless-sounding late middle-aged man driving a beat up car says to me "come 'ere, lady, and see this," my defenses go up. But it turned out he wanted to show me one of these on the ground next to the gas pump:

He kept saying he had never seen anything like it. I'm not sure I've got the right species, but it was a rhinocerous beetle or hercules beetle. It was big and still alive.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

partial race report

Step Toward a Cure 5K, benefiting the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

My daughter's best friend was having her Bat Mitzvah at 10:30 am almost an hour away. So I knew a race starting at 8:30 am was marginal, but it started half a mile from my house and was for a good cause so I signed up. I rode around on my mountain bike for a while to warm up and then left my bike at the top of a steep hill near the park where the race started.

The really really frustrating thing was that the race started 10 minutes late. It was a hilly course and started up hill, but by half a mile or so I had the feel of keeping running up hill and speeding up down hill. The miles weren't marked (this was very much a local race, no numbers or chips) but it was 8:56 am when I got to the place where the route turned away from my home, so I decided I had to go home a shorter way. I ran back to my bicycle, though I slowed down a bit after I left the race. I got to my bicycle in 38:36 and hurried home to shower and throw on a dress.

I was ready to leave at 9:30 am, as I had planned, and I got very angry when my husband wasn't ready to go. I had told him that I needed him to be in the car waiting impatiently for me at 9:30. We actually got to the Bat Mitzvah in time, so I feel guilty for how angry I was.

But I was very disappointed not to be able to finish the race, so it was very frustrating to sacrifice what I wanted to do in order to be on time and then have to wait for him. When we got home again after the Bat Mitzvah I drove the route I ran to see how long it was. To my surprise it was 3.1 miles, according to my car odometer. I don't know if the race route was long or whether I was wrong in thinking my route would be shorter. My fastest race pace yet, and on a hillier course: 12.4 minute miles.

It was actually the first real 5 K race I have entered, running only instead of a triathlon. I started in the back of the group of runners (there were walkers too) and I think I passed more people than passed me. I felt like I belonged.

Friday, August 26, 2005

moving forward

It is still just such a shock to have my son away. But I'm also very busy with classes starting and needing to move forward with Science, Technology, and Society organizing. I didn't run today because I'm running at least part of a 5K race tomorrow. I have to be home and ready to go out to a Bat Mitzvah an hour after the start time, so depending on whether it starts on time I may cut off for home before the finish. I should have ridden my bike this evening, but I just felt so tired. I hadn't taken a day off from my training in more than a week, so maybe that was what I needed.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


My son has called several times to ask me to send things he needs and to report that he signed up to do volunteer work at a wolf park. No complaints (he's not a complainer). I feel better having heard from him and that he is managing things well enough to know what he needs (though a couple of things I told him he could buy himself).

My classes started today. I can't tell much yet about how the new general education requirements will change the students and their expectations in my course, beyond that I have a full classroom (125 students).

Monday, August 22, 2005


I suspect that the people who wrote this church sign only meant that with God all things are possible. But it strikes me that the deeper meaning is that it is hubris, particularly technological hubris, that does us in. We do much better when we admit that we are not in control.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


My son is at boarding school--my husband and daughter and I drove him up to Asheville yesterday so we could be there bright and early this morning. Everything went smoothly but it was a long day. It is hard now imagining him on his own. Thanks to those who sent support; it is a big scary transition.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

last minute panics

My son's new school sent lists of "what a student needs" and "what a student may bring." The list of needs includes 3-4 pairs of dress pants and 6-8 Oxford-style long-sleeved shirts. The list of what a student may bring includes "Cargo pants or shorts (NOT to be worn to class)." Nowhere on the lists is there any other mention of shorts or any mention of short-sleeved dress shirts.

I grew up in the northeast where men like my father wore long-sleeved dress shirts all summer, so it didn't even occur to me to think the lists unreasonable. At this school some days the boys wear polo shirts to class, and other days they have to wear dress shirts and tie. When another mother told me that the boys are allowed to wear dress shorts to class I figured that might be on the days when they can wear polo shirts. So only after I thought about it some more did I email my son's advisor to ask if the boys are allowed to wear short-sleeved dress shirts. She wrote: "The boys may wear 'dressy' khaki or dark colored shorts to class in the fall and spring. Short sleeved shirts with ties are also okay on tie days, and the shorts may be worn with them.... Most of the classrooms are not air-conditioned, so he will want some short sleeved shirts for the first few weeks, for sure."

I happened to have bought some dress shorts because I saw boys size 18 slim on sale. But I had to go to three department stores today to find short-sleeved Oxford cloth shirts in both white and blue, and the six shirts that I bought were all that the stores had in boys size 18 and 20 (I did also look for men's size 14 1/2 but there was very little available in that size). I would rather have ordered from Lands End, as the fabric is more comfortable, but it is too late for that. We take my son to school Saturday.

Be thinking of me Saturday. I was in tears of frustration after I succeeded in buying the shirts. It is going to be so hard to see my son go off to school.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


I'm in a workshop all week on teaching online courses. It doesn't leave me much time, plus last night there was a long meeting at my daughter's school. In what time I have I'm organizing my son's clothing to take to school. I'm frustrated with the list I'm following. I talked to another parent last night and was told kids can wear dress shorts to class until Fall Break, which the list says isn't allowed.

My main conclusion so far is that online couses are a lot of work. But that's why I'm taking the time to sit in this workshop, because that means I get part of the work done for next summer. I do already have a lot of online material I use in my classroom classes. And I hope what I develop for an online course can be useful in the classroom courses too.

Yesterday I went back to swimming. I thought I would just do the kick set and leave, but the coach is working on basic skills so I was able to do pretty much the whole workout. I couldn't use my arms much but I could do a drill swimming three strokes and then 6 kicks without using my arms. I was very happy to be back to swimming.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

slowly back to my training

Wednesday the doctor told me I could resume my normal activities, except swimming. I ran 1 1/2 miles on Thursday and then stopped because my knee started to hurt. My massage therapist said it was an arch problem and so I put my newer custom orthotics into my running shoes and today ran 2 miles without pain. I think I was right to stop then; there is some soreness in my legs. Before the accident I was running 2 3/4 miles three days a week, so I'm discouraged by how much 2 1/2 weeks off has set me back. When I built up originally I had hip problems that I worked through by only increasing my three day a week runs by 1/4 mile each month. Hopefully I can build up more quickly this time.

My bike isn't ready yet, which is frustrating. The rubber on the brifters was torn, and when they replaced it the bike didn't shift properly. They finally figured out that the new rubber covers were the wrong model but now we have to wait for new ones to come in. In the meantime I am riding my yard sale mountain bike, 20 minutes yesterday, 40 minutes today. It doesn't hurt, but I do feel some strain in my shoulder.

I can go back to swimming in three weeks or so. I'm actually going to go back to my masters group when it starts up for the year next week, and do the kick set only. I am doing six arm and shoulder strengthening exercises given to me by the physical therapist.

I was scheduled to do my fourth sprint triathlon September 17, but I cancelled out of that. There is a race Sept. 25, the Octoberfest Triathlon in Hiawassee, Georgia, that would be easy to get to: the web site describes it as international distance but then says 8/10 mile swim, 17 mile bike, 4 mile run. Last year's winner's run time was 23 minutes, so that suggests it really is 4 miles, not six. Or I could do the Hickory Knob Triathlon Oct. 15 but that really is an international distance race--swim 1500 meters, bike 28 miles, run 6.2 miles--and it conflicts with my son's fall break.

So am I foolish to want to do a race this fall? The season starts in April here, so I'm surprised there aren't any sprint distance races in October. At least I haven't been able to find one within a half day's drive.

Friday, August 12, 2005

pictures from the July triathlon

The pictures from the professional photographer finally came and I wanted to see what the detail of the faces looked like. Here is the beginning of the first run and the finish:
The race report is here.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

no more sling!

I went to see the orthopedist yesterday and he said I didn't need to wear the sling any longer, can resume normal activities except swimming and lifting anything heavy with my right arm. That was faster than he had originally predicted and my bike isn't ready! I would have liked to get some credit for following all instructions and healing well.

The discouraging thing was I only ran a mile and a half this morning before my knee started to hurt. So I just rode to the bank and the bike shop (less than a mile round trip) on my yard sale mountain bike. Tomorrow I will try a longer ride. The bike shop figured out the problem with my good bike so it should be ready when the part comes in, tomorrow or Monday.

My daughter went back to school today and it makes my son going off to boarding school in a week and a half seem realer. Someone said that when their child went away they got intense about gathering the things the child needed as a way of avoiding their feelings of loss. And I realized that is what I am doing. I don't even know how to feel the loss.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

boarding school

I went into high gear when I got home ordering what my son needs for boarding school. The list includes a hunter green comforter, a color none of the usual mail order places are carrying this year. I finally found one (or close enough) at LL Bean.

When I was in college I bought a lot of my clothes in boys size 18, so I was suprised how hard it is to find boys size 18 and 20. The profits are higher for young men's clothing, I guess. Boys sizes are cheaper, and my son is getting tall (about 5 ft. 8 in.) but is so skinny that the smallest men's sizes don't really fit him. Lands End was the best bet (Talbots had everything at considerably higher cost) and I saved a few dollars in shipping by ordering Lands End items through Sears. I thought I had found lower-cost oxford cloth shirts at JC Penny online, but the color and size I wanted most were sold out. All of this took about 5 hours of searching and comparing, but I'm glad to have avoided malls and department stores.

Friday, August 05, 2005

July training

My first reaction was not to post training numbers when I can't even run because of my shoulder. But then I decided that I might as well have the comparison--I can feel good when it goes up again. I spent 10 days of July in Montana with no pool and a bike with an uncomfortable saddle. The last week of the month I was injured--the orthopedist said nothing but walking and the exercise bike. The exercise bike is so different from riding my real bike and so boring that I'm doing 1/2 hour sessions.


Swim: 6 sessions, about 6 1/2 hours
Run: 10 sessions, 27 miles, about 6 1/2 hours
Bike: 13 sessions, about 10 1/2 hours

Thursday, August 04, 2005


O Lord hear my prayer, O Lord hear my prayer: When I call, answer me.
O Lord hear my prayer, O Lord hear my prayer: Come and listen to me. (From Taize)

My favorite hike this year is up Wolf Mountain, the hill behind the boat house in the picture below. It takes me about an hour and a half round trip and is a good uphill workout.

Monday, August 01, 2005

good vacation

I took an hour and a half hike this morning up a nearby mountain, and was pleased I didn't have to stop to rest the way I used to. I used one of my husband's hiking poles, and that seemed to compensate well from the loss of balance of having my right arm in a sling. The weather is cloudy with occasional rain but it is so nice to have a break from the heat. We picked up the kids from sleepaway camp yesterday; they had a good time.