I cannot sprint like a Kenyan, but I can swim with the best of Arizona brats who grew up in fancy swim clubs. Last night’s race was a fun reminder of why I wish the swimming came last.
Let me paint the scene:
Me and 100 other folk waiting for the start of a two-lap swim around a Tempe Town Lake course. The other 99 (most with wet suits) are in the water. Me at the starting dock with my toes in waiting for the horn to start the race. I dive, I find my place in the pack, I emerge 20 minutes later or so in the first 20 or so folk. The advantage of not wearing a wet suit is apparent as I throw on my tennis shoes and sunglasses and take off. Soon enough I’m cruising through the out-and-back 1.8 mile course when I hear a set of feet behind me. A dude cruises by. Then another. Then another. Then it is a torrent of slower swimmers who’ve caught the hare and are flying past me in their fancy, sprinty, Kenyan ways.
I finished mid-pack and was pleased as punch; I swam and ran as hard as I could. I was so tired at the end I nearly puked, and considering these races provide some of the best male eye-candy in town, I’m really glad I didn’t. Instead, I pulled myself together and went out with a group for post-race happy hour.
Yet when I woke up this morning with two swollen pink eyes, I had to wonder if the dip in the city lake was worth the infection. It was a lot of fun but I am not going to be a happy camper if this morphs into another $50 spent on antibiotic drops for these wimpy peepers of mine.
Next up: Tri for the Cure on Sunday. It’s a sprint tri I’m doing as a relay with a couple girlfriends. And guess what? I’m doing the run. Thankfully I can hide behind a pair of sunglasses if necessary.
I’ve been batting my eyelashes at a cute new boy for the last couple of weeks. Of course Tall, Dark and Handsome (TDH) is going back to Africa this week — to work on a malaria project, no less. (See? Totally swoon-worthy.) Last night we decided to meet up for a drink before both going our own ways to Phoenix Open/Super Bowl Sunday pre-parties. I was feeling great. I wore my favorite red top, earrings from Bali, skinny jeans and was feeling on top of my game. As I strutted down Mill Avenue in Tempe, I could help but gawk at the masses of people.
There are gobs of folks in Phoenix this weekend for all the athletic nonsense. Plus, Mill runs along Arizona State University’s edge, so there are always gaggles of interesting people, meandering. The people-watching is fabulous.
Picture me, walking through all of this, killing time and waiting for TDH to show when I feel a giant raindrop fall from the sky and land on my chest. I’m standing in front of a busy Quiznos, where a group of people are sitting at the bar looking out the window while they eat their meal. I look up at the sky, realize there aren’t any clouds and then think, “Huh. That’s weird, I could have sworn I felt rain.”
Then I look down and I see it.
A giant bird took a giant poop on my head. I had bird poop in my hair, on my chest, on my shirt, and even a dabble on my pants and the jacket I was carrying. I look around in terror to see who’s seen this horror develop when I notice everyone at the restaurant with their mouths agape. Without another choice, I crack up. Hysterical laughter pours out of me and I double over at my luck. I am meeting TDH in a few minutes and have spent the last hour getting ready for the night and yet in this instant, I’ve got bird poop from head to toe and a belly full of humble pie. So much for my “top of my game” strutting. Once I start laughing, the crowd inside does too. I find my way to a bathroom, clean myself up and manage to come out and bow to a small applause before hurrying down Mill the other direction to flee the scene. I nearly tell a couple women on the street to guard their decollatage. There are some sneaky fiber-loving birds ahead.
Now I hear I should have made a wish — that being pooped on by a bird is good luck in some cultures. I wish that TDH have a safe journey, and that my life is always this silly.
KatyRenee tagged me for “Inside your bag.” During the week I carry a work bag, no purse. Not so interesting, eh? On the weekends, I carry a bag large enough just for the essentials: camera, wallet, phone, lip gloss.
Since we are mid-week — the work bag, which as usual, is not handmade because I’ll be darned if I can make one strong enough for the weekday beating:
This week’s work horse, an Isaac Mizrahi Tarjay special from a few years ago.
Moleskin, agenda with mail shooting out, check book, address book, tiny recycled Prada pouch for lip gloss and sweets, wallet I’ve been using for 10 years, Blackberry, iPod.
Nalgene and ample reading material: Arizona Highways to plan weekend hikes; NYT Sunday Magazine, because it is my very favorite thing to read each week; latest novel.
In turn, I’d like to see inside the purses of TasterSpoon, Rhonda and Ellen. Tag!
Yesterday Ruby and I had an early morning date. I thought we’d cruise up through Ahwatukee for an hour or so, getting in some hills and giving me ample time to catch up on podcasts. (I also needed to shake off two nights of shenanigans not conducive to tri training. I swear the best way to get over a hangover is a long, hard workout. Or greasy food.)
The first hour was perfect; the weather was warm, but not abusive. The hills were tough, but conquerable. I was feeling strong and glad I’d gotten up to see the sunrise while pedaling like a madwoman.
It wasn’t until I made the final turn heading home that things went awry. I had already biked 30 miles and my shoulder and neck were starting to ache. Instead of looking up, I looked down at my knees, glancing up every now and then to provide my back with some relief. Dumb move.
I didn’t see the large, orange metal merge sign until it was too late. I was about two feet in front of it, going 19 miles per hour, when I barreled into the sign and went flying out of the bike lane into traffic.
Thankfully, there wasn’t a car there to run over me. I hit my head on the asphalt, the sign came toppling down on me and my legs, of course, were still stuck in my pedals. When I finally sat up straight and realized what had just happened, I noticed I was bleeding. And my head really hurt.
A man who was driving behind me stopped and ran over to see if I was okay. The police were called and it quickly became an embarrassing scene I wanted to escape. I told them I was fine and I didn’t need paramedics, but, “Could you just help me get my chain back on my bike?”
My hands were cut and bloody, but I got the chain back on, got back on the bike and thanked everyone who had stopped. It wasn’t until I got about a mile away that I realized my bike took a serious hit too. Poor Ruby needs new handlebars. And I need a new helmet. And to pay more attention. It is going to hurt to spend another $200 on tri gear this month.
However, the irony of crashing into a merge sign? Priceless.