Friday, May 18, 2007

Another Brick in the (Triathlon) Wall

Until the other day, my triathlon workouts consisted solely of single-event activities--a swim day, a bike day, a run day. Within these activities, there has certainly been a lot of variation. For example, I have been periodically doing accelerations of anywhere from 10-30 seconds (spaced a minute and a half apart) during my rides and runs. And I'm to the point where I've swam 500 meters in the pool nonstop. (I know, I know, no big deal...but at least I haven't drowned! That's gotta count for something!)

Then it came time to do my first brick. What's a brick? A brick is a bike ride followed immediately by a run. What I did was ride from campus to home, which takes a little more than an hour, pushing pretty hard the whole way. I then used the front yard as my transition area, aided by my "pit crew" of Desi, Julie, and Z. After some quick hydration, I headed out and ran to the Metro and back.

All in all, I have to say it was pretty ridiculous...like this whole triathlon business! I guess I just must like inflicting pain on myself, because it was both brutal and smile inducing. And, on top of this, I was breaking in new sneakers, so by the time I got home (for the second time) my one sock looked just like Curt Shilling's (look it up...).

~Steve

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Who Knew?

Twenty-two years ago yesterday, two kids from Jersey went to their prom together. The screen door slammed and thunder's been rolling down the tracks ever since. Wo ai ni, Des.

~Steve

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dunk a Dukie!

This past weekend, there was a carnival at Julie and Z's school. One of main attractions was a summer fair classic---the dunk tank!

A couple of days before the fair, word got out that there was a shortage of volunteers to sit in the dunk tank. Our pastor and principal had signed up, but not a single other person.

Then, at a parents' association meeting, a friend of ours suggested that someone should ask me. You see, whenever we go to their house on the Chesapeake Bay, I'm the one parent who jumps in and takes the kids on little adventures around the cove. So, she reasoned, I must really like the water. Actually, I like warm water...especially on a spring day when it is "only" in the 70s! Thankfully, our pastor had insisted on filling the tank with comfortable water as a condition of his participation. OK, then, I was good to go!

But here's the problem. It's a no-brainer for kids to come dunk the pastor and principal. But what about me? What about this random dad? (I don't think I made too many enemies as school board president...but, then again, I don't have eyes in the back of my head!)

So here's what I came up with--Dunk a Dukie! I decked myself out, head to toe, in Duke stuff (not hard to do, if you look inside my closet!). Then, before my turn, I walked around the carnival, getting in the face of all of the little Terrapins I could find. (Along the way, I did encounter a few Tar Heels, who must be lost, roving this far from the mothership.) By the time I had climbed onto the "hot seat," I had an army of 4th-6th grade boys waiting to take me down!

I then spent the next 45 minutes up there babbling on about all things Duke...when, of course, I wasn't in the water! It must have worked, because at one point, one of the dads who was working the tank (a nice guy I had just met) could take no more and pressed the button, sending me down for an "bonus" dunk! I don't know, maybe it was my ranting about how the Tar Heels, and not the Terps, are Duke's real rival. (Like anyone in North Carolina needs to be told that...but, hey, we're up here at the North Pole, where the view of the world sometimes gets a little skewed.)

Then there was the time when, without warning, the bench collapsed and I hit the water. I looked around, and there behind the tank was Nathan, one of Z's friends, with a devilish grin on his face. He had pulled the lever, thereby discovering yet another way to send me for an "unauthorized" swim. Nice job, dude!

And then there was Julie, who successfully hit the target with one of her balls, earning herself immense satisfaction...and a two-week grounding!

~Steve