Archive | August, 2004

Gardening for my honoree!

25 Aug

My friend Erika and I went over our guitar teacher’s house on Sunday to help him and his wife, A., with some things. After drinking some great homemade cappuccino courtesy of our teacher (banjo player, guitar player, barista, who knew?), eating some chocolate from Switzerland, and chatting a while, A. said she’d like us to help out with the garden: trim the irises to 6 inches, pull out the nasturtium in the front, and remove the seeds from the ends of the grasses she has planted in the front. No problem, we thought!

Three hours later, we had trimmed the irises, pulled out the nasturtium, and were about halfway done with the grasses. Erika filled four brown grocery bags of seeds, and I was pulling the seeds out of the mulch. It was pretty fun, actually, being out in the sun all day, doing something easy and slow. And I know how much A. cares about her garden, so I was so glad I could help out. I need to go back and finish, though…

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I like running?

25 Aug

Man, I’ve had the worst couple of weeks at work. We’re working on the issue from hell, and every day for the past two weeks, I’ve been wanting to get home and work out but something gets in the way. Today, I left work early for my guitar lesson, then got home around 6:45. It was gray and foggy outside–so foggy that drops of water were falling down. It was exactly the kind of weather that I never would have exercised in three months ago. As I tied up my shoes, I thought for a second about going to the gym and running on the treadmill, but quickly put that idea out of my head. I wanted to be outside.

I decided to jog for about an hour, and once I got going, it just felt so good. It was exactly what I needed to do, to pound out all the frustration from work with my feet hitting the pavement, to feel free, and as a marked contrast from work lately, to not be held up by other people.

After about a mile, I passed a bunch of teenagers trying to be punks. They started fake cheering for me and one stuck out his hand for me to slap. I slapped it and then started laughing and cheering me on for real. It felt awesome.

I felt so strong–I felt like my friend Jen Lynch who was always a really good runner. In one delusional moment, I thought I could maybe keep up with her (she’s been doing soccer for almost 25 years straight now–she’s in really good shape).

I ran past the geese in the duck pond (they didn’t even move when I ran through them), past the bison, and down to the part where I turned around at my last long run. I had to walk twice on the way back due to a cramp in my side from the Clif bar I gobbled before I left and my legs starting to feel like lead. But even so, I still did the whole thing in about 50 minutes, I think.

I’m psyched! And it completely turned around my week.

Practice and practice tri

22 Aug

What a week! Actually, what a few weeks. Between getting ready for the benefit and flying to Rochester last weekend for Chad’s dad’s retirement party, my training completely fell by the wayside. Chad and I did manage to get a run in (I think we’re going to do the Treasure Island Tri in early November) when we were in Rochester, but it was impossible to bike or swim. Fortunately, I was spared the more greasy Rochester fare while I was there (no garbage plates, only one batch of Buffalo wings, and I could have drunk Genny Light at the party, but opted for Labatt’s Blue instead).

Then this week, preparing for the gig (oh, I love saying that) took up most of my time. Monday night, Chad and I went to see the Rowdies at their regular Monday night gig so I could support them a bit and also, admittedly, check out how they worked the mics. Tuesday morning was good–thank God for spinning class–and I got a little guitar practicing in that night. Wednesday night, the Nellies rehearsed at Cameron’s house, Thursday was the gig, Friday was recuperating (with our week #11 swim after work–after which I was EXHAUSTED). Which brings us to Saturday, the practice tri.

I ate my bagel and grabbed some coffee (thanks to Gillian’s visit to the nutritionist, I know I can safely drink it before a race. We triathletes need to stick together!), and headed up in Chad’s car to Paradise Park in Tiburon. The TNTers took over the parking lot. I had to bring our photo ID to the sign-up area, get “body-marked” with my race number onmy arms and legs and age on the back of my left calf, and get my paper race number for the run. Then we set up our transition areas behind our cars and Coaches April and Steve checked out our transition areas and awarded prizes for best, worst, biggest, smallest, etc. Here’s what I learned, since I missed the transition clinics:
1) Don’t bring a scrunchie, hair brush, or hair products unless you want the other triathletes–or just Coaches April and Steve–to mock you.
2) Keep it small, the size of a towel folded in half, unless you want the other triathletes to hate you.
3) Put everything in piles according to the order that you’ll be putting them on. So for T1, put your sunglasses (arms open) in your helmet, helmet with the strap undone and ready to be flipped onto your head, socks rolled slightly to make them go on faster, and shoes last.

We started off with a really short swim (not even a quarter mile–maybe .1 mile), then to the shore and up the stairs to the transition area. Here’s where I learned my most crucial (and painful) lesson of the day.

Don’t try taking your arms out of your wetsuit while climbing stairs.

I was so dizzy from the swim that my balance was already off. But feeling the pressure of reducing my transition time, I thought I’d be clever and start getting my arms out of my wetsuit as I went up the stairs. My arms got caught, I lost balance, and fell pretty hard, landing on my left thigh on the corner of a stair.

It felt sore for the rest of the race, but it didn’t inhibit me until that night. Chad and I went shopping and I was limping all over Union Square. Fortunately today and tomorrow are supposed to be rest days.

All in all, I finished the practice tri in about 1:15. The distances were .1? mile swim, 8 mile bike, 3 mile run. I think I could have even pushed myself harder.

Another good thing about the run was that Holly, who I ran with on the 1 mile intervals, was starting her run at exactly the same time as me. We ran together the whole way, which was great for helping me pace myself.

Today, Erika and I are going to help my honoree, A., with some grocery shopping and housecleaning. She and her husband, our guitar teacher, have been so busy lately. And, her doctor put her on this nonfat diet to try to clear up the problem of the fluid gathering around her lungs, so they’ve been struggling to find foods she can safely eat. Jen sent me recipes for two nonfat desserts. I was going to try to make one this morning, but I think I might make one tonight and drop it off before the vocals workshop Erika arranged with Kathy Kallick tomorrow night.

I’ve met my fundraising goal

20 Aug

Hooray! We just counted the money from the benefit concert tonight, and (with the help of the rest of my band, the Barefoot Nellies, and our pals, Homespun Rowdy) raised $777 towards my fundraising goal. Together with two recent donations that I have to submit, that puts me over my goal! Hooray!

It especially makes me happy because we’re pretty worried about A. Erika and I are going over their house this weekend to help with grocery shopping and cleaning. Both A. and my guitar teacher are just so exhausted lately; I’m so glad we can finally do something to help them out.

By the way, I’ve had to turn off comments because some idiot who calls himself gigig@gigig.com keeps posting dirty comments to my site. Thanks, pal. I’m training for a triathlon to raise money to keep my friends alive and you’re posting horrible comments in order to increase your rating in Google. I know times are hard, but come on. Have you no sense of decency? Please leave me and my site alone.

Bluegrass Benefit for Leukemia!

7 Aug

Thursday, August 19
8 pm
Amnesia (Valencia, between 19th and 20th)
Homespun Rowdy with the Barefoot Nellies and a special appearance by the High Holy Rollers (John Norwood’s gospel quartet–should be interesting)
Cover: $10 suggested donation (All proceeds from the cover charge go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society)

Good news and bad news

7 Aug

First the good news:

  • The gig is on! I’ll make a separate post about that, though.
  • At Wednesday’s workout, I ran 1 mile in 8 minutes and, after a short break, a second mile in 7:50! Thanks for running with me, Holly!
  • Patti’s white blood cell count is even and has stayed even through her past few checkups! Hooray for Patti!

Now the bad news:
As of Tuesday, A. was still in the hospital. I mentioned before about how A. had lymphoma a few years ago, went through chemo and a bone marrow transplant, and was in remission. Well, a few months ago, she started having problems with her lungs; fluid was collecting around her lungs, making it really difficult for her to breathe. They thought that once they discovered that the lymphoma came back, the treatment for that would help stop the fluid from collecting. It slowed it, but didn’t stop it, so she went into the hospital the day of my guitar lesson last week.

My teacher was really hopeful that this process they were going to be doing (inserting a chest tube, draining the liquid from around her lungs, then inserting something that would make her lungs stick to the lining around them) would solve the problem and that A. would only be in the hospital a few days. When Erika had her lesson last week, A. was still in the hospital, and the process hadn’t completely solved the problem. They were going to try the whole procedure again.

So please keep A. in your thoughts and if you pray, your prayers. She’s someone who’s very near and dear to many of our hearts, and I really hope she gets better. She’s been through so much, medically speaking, these past few years.

Benefit Concert!

3 Aug

Hey, for all my millions of readers, come to my benefit concert!

Thursday, August 19
8 pm (?)
Amnesia
Valencia at 19th
Suggested donation: $7-20
All proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

With Homespun Rowdy, the Barefoot Nellies, and a special appearance by the High Holy Rollers gospel quartet (no, I don’t know what that is, either).

Drink specials until 8 pm!

(The Barefoot Nellies is my band, by the way.)