Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cool Mama's musings

Do kids ever think their parents are cool? We are not given credit where credit is due.

I have been wearing Vibram Five Fingers for years. Long before they were "cool" and definitely before they trickled into the mainstream. I was a little bit of a freak show walking through the grocery store with my funky feet, prompting stares and questions.

When I wore them to chaperone my daughter's field trip last year, she was mortified. "Mom!" She exclaimed, eyes wide with horror, "You're going to wear those?"

Needless to say, she now wants a pair of her own especially since her friends and her friend's parents are starting to wear them too.

Today I wore my Batman t-shirt, the one I purchased in the boy's department and proudly donned for my first Warrior Dash two years ago. As we prepared to head to the bus stop this morning my daughter again looked at me critically and frowned. "Mom! Are you going to wear that? To the bus stop? Could you wear a jacket on top or something? It's embarrassing."


I will be happy to inform her this afternoon that when I walked into the cafe after a 2200 in the pool*, the young, hip, college-aged guy working the counter said simply, "Cool shirt." I rest my case.

*Speaking of the pool, I'm feeling a bit discouraged at the moment. Really wishing I'd been a swim team kid. The Law of Primacy is killing me here. I just cannot compete with those who learned to swim, the right way, right about the same time they were learning to read--when all the synapses were firing full blast, committing words and proper swim form to memory.

A friend of mine recently kicked butt at a local triathlon that I competed in last year. I took a peek at her times. We are nearly identically matched in the bike and very close in the run. But in the swim? She was seven minutes faster than me.  Seven minutes! That's an eternity in the water, in a race. Though I feel like my current swimming progress is stagnant, I'm still hopeful that I will gain 5 seconds here, ten seconds there. But seven minutes? Never! It's very depressing. I used to feel like running was my weakest link but, all other things being equal, I will never be able to make up that kind of time in the water.

There are two pearls in triathlon that continue to haunt me:

1) The best triathletes are runners.

2) A race cannot be won in the water, but it can be lost there.

So, whenever I'm cycling, I'm talking to myself, encouraging myself to get better, stronger, faster, because (despite the fact that I often lose my races/podium spots in the transition area, but that's another post) cycling is my best chance for improving and it's my strongest event. As I ride, I repeat Macca's words over and over, "cycling is my weapon, cycling is my weapon." It may be the only one I've got.

However, had I not been too exhausted to post after my ride this weekend (and after hosting a sleepover birthday party for my daughter and 10 of her friends), this would have been the title:

Long, slow & hot 

The content would not have been nearly as sexy as the heading suggests, but it's an apt description of my ride.

On Sunday, on the heels of what should have been a rest/recovery week but was not, my husband and I headed out for the longest ride so far this season (40 miles) on the hottest riding day so far (sunny, 85, 60+% humidity--though this is nothing compared to what a Maryland summer is capable of dishing up), on a very hilly course, and I was so, so, slow. Given that this is supposed to be my "weapon," it was very disheartening. Instead of pumping myself up, I found myself grumpy and grumbling about why I am out riding 40 miles when my next race is a sprint--15 miles, for Pete's sake! ("Who's Pete?" my youngest used to ask).  This is not an Iron year; we are supposed to be taking it easy. But it's so hard to let go . . .

Tonight we were scheduled to hit the road yet again but our babysitter cancelled and, though I'm ashamed to admit this, I'm actually happy about it. (Well, smack my mouth!) This is one very tired, but very Cool Mama, who is looking forward to a night off!

Be safe, train smart & have fun!

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