Wednesday, January 31, 2007

turn off the juice

Turn off anything using electricity on Feb. 1 from 1:55 to 2 pm EST and see if we can make a visible blip. Mind you, I'm going to be on a plane (unless we get a lot of snow and ice) and won't be able to participate. The information is here. Facebook is promoting it--interesting that it is mainstream to that audience.

Monday, January 29, 2007

triathlon meme

From Nancy:
1. Describe a memory from your first triathlon ever

At the end of the run, as I turned into the YMCA driveway, there was a policeman blocking traffic. He cheered me on and said 99% of American people couldn't do it. It was mindboggling to me to have people cheering for me.

2. Describe a memory from your most recent triathlon

I was doing the an international distance race but there was also a sprint, and this time all the slow people did the sprint. There were three of us at the end for most of the run, and then the other woman suddenly put on speed and left two of us behind. The other person was a man who caught up with me with about half a mile to go and suggested we run together. I loved that thought, so neither of us had to be last. But then he got a ferocious cramp and when he told me to go on without him I did. He was a novice and so had started later than me, so actually in the final results I was last.

3. What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you in a tri?

I'm not coming up with a public embarrassment. But my first year of competing I wouldn't consider doing a local race with a pool swim because I didn't know how to do flip turns. The next year I did the race, and it turned out that only the first 100 or so people did flip turns under the lane lines, almost no one else did (and I didn't either, even though I had been practicing them).

4. What's the most thrilling thing that's happened to you in a tri?

Thrilling may not be the right word, but what comes to mind as the strongest experience is finishing a race that ended with a swim (the race was 375 yard swim, 2 mile run, 20 k bike, 2 mile run, 375 yard swim) swimming the whole last leg using one arm only because I had wiped out on my bike and injured my shoulder. I finished!

5. What is something you discovered about yourself by doing triathlons?

I don't have to be good at something to enjoy it (very different from the ideas I was brought up with). And I like racing, which I never would have expected.

6. What is The Big Goal that you're working towards?

Finishing an ironman. I'm planning on a half ironman this year, and if I can schedule it one of the new 3/4 ironman races next year. And then??

Sunday, January 28, 2007

before and after

Two not very good pictures, but one is from Feb. 2001 and the other is from August 2006. All I did was control my blood glucose, strictly.

I had morning fasting blood glucose readings of 105, 106 and then 116 after giving blood, but this morning it was down to 95 again. I didn't try to swim or run fast this week, but my bike ride today had some tough hills (and a temperature of 44 with a wind averaging 14 mph and gusting to 39) and I didn't feel any difference due to giving blood.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

being good

I was one of those little girls who tried too hard to be good. So I was stunned when someone said to me today:
I would rather be whole than be good.
It is going to take me a while to put my world back together.

Monday, January 22, 2007

giving blood

I agreed to give blood at the church blood drive, since I don't have a race coming up soon. However, I expected to get refused for low hemoglobin, as that has happened to me about half the time and the timing wasn't good. To my surprise, I was able to give. Apparently I've got the iron I take right--a brand called Slow-Fe, every day for a few days when most needed and once or twice a week the rest of the month.

Since I haven't given in at least two years it is now a bit of an experiment to see how much effect giving blood has on my running and swimming (and biking, but I expect less effect there). It may also make my blood sugar harder to control; I saw such an effect the last time I gave and also when I spent several days high altitude. My theory was that my body thinks I needed higher blood glucose when working hard to make more red blood cells. But my diabetes has definitely gotten easier to control in the last year, so maybe I won't see that effect so clearly.

At least they did a good job of sticking me--success on the first try. When I had some tests at the hospital a couple of years ago three different technicians tried to get an IV going. The third one was the expert they call when they have trouble, and it took her several tries.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


I finally got around to trying to figure out where my archives went. I went to the help group for Blogger and did a search and found someone with the same problem. The answer was:
But you are a very old time blogger user, using the very old archive method, which is no longer available on New Blogger. They stopped letting new users use it over 2 years ago, but you were allowed time to transition. It's time!
So that is why I have a new template, though I tried to keep it somewhat like the old. I don't have time to try to figure out how to put all the pieces back--figuring out html code takes me a long time and the page element editor doesn't work very well.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I'm really enjoying working with the black-and-white photographs I took in Turkey with my daughter's film camera. Here's another, of Aphrodisias.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I'm inspired

Thanks to Sheila, I just discovered Running Funky. I am tempted to go all the way and get a tri suit.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


My university does a pretty good job of protecting us from spam--I only get maybe 5 to 10 spam messages a day, and my email address is on the web. What is annoying, however, is the good messages that get labeled as spam or even deleted. Sometimes I send myself a message to get a link from my home computer to my work computer, and the last one of those didn't go through at all. Today I got a message from a colleague with a list of bibliographic suggestions for my daughter (on archaeology). The message did get through, but was labeled as spam. The content analysis says:

Content analysis details: (8.1 points, 5.0 required)
MR_NOT_ATTRIBUTED_IP Beta rule: an non-attributed IPv4 found in headers 2.3
MANGLED_PILL BODY: mangled pill(s) 0.3
LONGWORD BODY: Uses overlong words 1.0
OFFER_URI URI: Offer in link address 0.7
MIME_HTML_MOSTLY BODY: Multipart message
mostly text/html MIME 0.0
HTML_MESSAGE BODY: HTML included in message 1.6
MISSING_SUBJECT Missing Subject: header 2.0
NO_RDNS2 Sending MTA has no reverse DNS

The spam score is high, it isn't over by just a little bit. Some of the problem is text cut and pasted from Amazon, with the links in it. But I really don't think it is a good idea for a university to judge something as spam because it uses overlong words! And something send by a colleage at the same university shouldn't have problems with the headers (except the lack of a subject, which is something I will be more careful about in the future).

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I read something today that put together two issues I think about--just noticing things and trying not to feel so badly about making mistakes.
To [Ellen] Langer, mindfulness means noticing new things and drawing new distinctions. "It doesn't matter whether what you notice is smart or silly," she says, "because the process of actively drawing new distinctions produces that feeling of engagement we all seek. It's much more available than you realize: all you need to do is actually notice new things...." Everyone says they want to live in the present... "So how do you get there? This work tells us how: when you're actively noticing new things, you become more aware of context and perspective. You end up with a healthier respect for uncertainty, something we are taught to fear. Our baseline state should be mindful; it's how we should feel virtually all the time."

What stops us, according to Langer, are our fears of evaluation, our acceptance of absolutes, and our mindless ideas about mistakes. All three are actually different facets of the same sensibility "Anything hierarchical suggests that there is a single metric--a 'right' way of understanding the world, and better and worse ways to view things," she explains. "But the world is a social construct. Mistakes are not mistakes in all contexts. With writing and art, mistakes tend to make the product more interesting."
From an article on the Science of Happiness in Harvard Magazine.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

half marathon

I don't feel like my running has gotten any faster, but I was looking forward to the Clemson half marathon in February hoping to prove myself wrong by doing the same race I had done a year earlier. But now they have cancelled it. I need a goal race this winter or early spring--it is hard to fit in long runs without a goal pushing me and my long-term goal is a half-ironman in September. I don't want to go to Atlanta and race with 15,000 people at the ING Marathon and half marathon. It looks like the closest thing is a 10 mile race in Greenville the end of February. I know the area only generally, but I don't think it is terribly hilly. The other alternative is the Alpharetta Marathon and half marathon, which would be somewhat bigger but have much better support. But it is the weekend of our parish weekend at Kanuga.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Annual totals for 2006

Swimming: 144 sessions for 172 hours 24 min.
Biking: 2305 miles in 184 hours
Running: 653 miles in 151 hours 44 min.

In 2005 I didn't keep track of my bike mileage, but my totals were 120 hours swimming, 202 hours biking, and 385 miles running. That's an average of 9.8 hours a week, compared to 8 hours last year. I think it is that consistency I am proudest of, plus just being a runner. I took the 10 days of our trip to Turkey completely off and I am happy to get back to swimming, running, and biking.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Turkish history

Yesterday I finished reading Birds Without Wings by Louis De Bernieres. In the end I found the violence too painful, but it certainly gave me a much deeper understanding of Turkish history. After World War I, when the Ottoman empire collapsed and the modern nation of Turkey was put together, the Greeks tried to claim western Turkey and Constantinople as historically Greek, as they were not only in ancient times but also during the Byzantine empire. When the Turks successfully resisted this, they drove out the Christians (and the Greeks drove out their Muslim population) and erased their monuments and history. A tradition of religious tolerance was reversed in the name of nation-building.