Thursday, November 30, 2006

swimming and feminism

Our new swim coach started this week. He is all of about 28 years old and has never coached adults before. I was startled Tuesday when he said to the two women in one lane "How are you girls doing?" Our fastest swimmers are a man and a woman not long out of college, and there may be one more of our group who is in her 20s, but the rest of us are four women in their 30s and 40s and two of us over 50. I don't think very fast at 5:30 in the morning, so it took me several hours to figure out what I wanted to do.

This morning when he referred to us as girls I told him that I have been a feminist since 1969 and I object to being called a girl. He said he would try not to do so but he was clearly mystified--he said he thought we would be complimented. I didn't think fast enough to say "How would you feel if I called you 'boy'?"

He asked what we would like to be called. I came up with "folks"--"how are you folks doing?" seems natural. Anybody got a better idea?

Monday, November 20, 2006


Two things kept me particularly busy last week, beyond just the time of year. I hosted a guest speaker at the beginning of the week, who runs an STS program at another state university. When he and I met with the administrator who is over the STS program, she encouraged me to consider developing a major.

Also my husband and I have been working on the possibility of traveling over Christmas, since his attempt to get tickets to Europe in May using frequent flyer miles was unsuccessful. We ended up buying tickets to go to Turkey Dec. 19-30. We will spend a good part of the time in Istanbul but I am working with a travel agent in Turkey on a 5 day trip to Troy, Pergamum and Ephesus, driving ourselves and then taking a sleeper train from Pamukkale back to Istanbul. Either Christmas eve or Christmas day we will go to a service at the House of the Virgin Mary, where Mary was traditionally believed to have lived out her earthly life.

The other new news is that my daughter scored in the 95% percentile overall among students who took the SSAT (Secondary School Aptitude Test).

Friday, November 17, 2006

quote of the day

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
-- George Bernard Shaw

I thought that an inspiring sentiment until I read this scary story about the anti-birth-control movement (credit to Joseph Duemer).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

early morning run

I woke up early today, feeling stressed about some old feelings I have gotten deep into working on this week. But it was a lovely morning; it rained all day yesterday and the air was soft this morning. I met a friend who is starting running and I ran with her around the track a couple of times. Then I headed out on the road, and I decided that it was light enough to run the dike loop rather than an out-and-back. It was just beginning to get light and everything was dark blue, not just the lake and the sky but the trees as well. There were rowers on the lake, close enough that I could hear their oars. A large flock of geese was resting in the lake, squawking occasionally, and a great blue heron flew along the shore below the dike. A good day to be alive, even if the local election results are depressing.

Monday, November 06, 2006

floating leaves

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ride Report: Tour de Tugaloo

I hadn't done this organized ride before, but I had ridden part of the route with the Cyberspinners. That was actually misleading--the whole metric century is a lot hillier than the part we rode.

It took me a lot longer to get there than I expected; the directions said turn just after crossing the border into Georgia but what I hadn't understood was that it was another 15 miles from that point to Yonah Dam. Only about 15 people started on time at 8 am, and I wasn't sorry to be starting late because it was so cold--in the low 30s. I had put some warmer clothing in my car but I bravely went with my original plan: buff, wool base layer shirt with a windproof vest over it, bike shorts with lightweight tights over them, wool socks and shoe covers over my bike shoes, and a pair of very light glove liners under fingerless gloves. I was very cold when I first started out, but when my fingers began to warm up after about 10 minutes I decided I had made the right choices. At the first rest stop I readusted my buff headband style instead of hood style. When it got warmer in the afternoon I took off the glove liners but I only unzipped my vest a little.

The first hour and a half to the first rest stop I wasn't really enjoying myself. It was up and down hill and on the downhills I was struggling to be able to see because the cold air was making my eyes water. The cold was making me hungry even faster than usual and almost 20 miles to the first rest stop was far. A whole peanut butter and banana sandwich and some orange quarters at the rest stop improved my view of life, though after a very hilly section I decided to take the advice not to go the last little bit of an out and back which had a particularly steep hill on the back. Going back the out and back section of the route seemed a whole lot shorter.

The next rest stop had homemade brownies and then there was a lovely flat section along the river, and I began to thoroughly enjoy myself. At the next rest stop someone was trying to help a rider whose rear derailer had failed. He asked if anyone had an Allen wrench and I was the only one who did. He commented that the only woman in the group was the one who had tools. The next section had some steep hills, but also lovely fairly flat sections along a ridge and then along the river again. I was pleased to notice that my time for 50 miles was very close to 4 hours (riding time, not counting rest stops) even on such a hilly course. It makes me want to do the island ride at FestiVelo again--a flat century. The last five miles was flat and fast and I still felt good.

Total: 61.6 miles in 4 hours 54 minutes riding time, some 2500 calories burned.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

one of those days

The swim coach made a big deal about how I was going to break two minutes swimming 100 yards freestyle today and I didn't do it, my best time was 2:03.35. I think I tried too hard and my technique slipped. Swimming is interesting that way--it doesn't give much credit for trying your hardest.

I also coughed a little and had one couldn't-get-my-breath coughing fit. I had finally decided last spring that what I thought at first was exercise-induced asthma was just my overreaction, because it never happened again. But today felt like asthma again, and since it hadn't happened in 6 months I didn't have the inhaler with me. It settled down again ok after the coughing fit, but I did realize when practice was done that my chest felt a little tight.

Then I had bad luck trying to make contact with someone I wanted to talk to on the phone. I had coffee with a friend and then hurried to my office for an appointment with a student, only to find an email saying he needed to reschedule. Hopefully I can get out for a bike ride this afternoon. If that doesn't make the day seem a little better I can go to a centering prayer group at church, but it starts at 6 pm which is a very awkward time for me (it is hard to have dinner ready early enough to eat before and my blood sugar doesn't do well with eating after 7:30).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

monthly totals

swimming: 9 workouts for 11 hours 55 minutes
biking: 8 workouts for 230.2 miles in 18 hours
running: 12 workouts for 51.2 miles in 12 hours 9 minutes
Total time: 42 hours 4 minutes
And I'm looking forward to a metric century at an organized ride this weekend.