Friday, August 19, 2011

Triathlete at the Fair

Because I'm an Episcopal priest, Fridays are my day off.  I usually get a lot done when lines are shorter at the stores (explaining the multitude of breakfast dates we tend to have and how I did a Fed Ex run and the grocery shopping AND dropped off a load at the Goodwill before the frozen strawberries even started to melt).  Today, I got to take a massive nap.  Guilt free.
No, it's not the ONLY thing I do on my day off.  But baristas are just artists in this town. This one is from Sushi Seoul, which is a coffeshop in the morning.  Really. 

Then we went to Cottage Grove for some swimming.  Cottage Grove is a lovely lake with fish and all sorts of wild life, like the mysterious thing with four legs and little tail that I saw one time.  (Frog?  Mouse? Baby possum?)  My tri club meets on Fridays for an open water swim where everyone suits up in their wetsuits (a few hardcore people swim in nothing but tri suits!), and swims to the dock, then to the last buoy.  One full lap is just under a mile, so it's just short of a full Olympic distance swim.

Part of Cottage Grove.  

I decided to swim backwards from the group today, swimming first to the last buoy THEN to the dock.  I am easily one of the slowest if not the slowest swimmer in the group.  To be fair, Mrs. Fearless Leader is a former competitive swimmer.  One of our guys is in Vermont competing in for a spot on the National team this week, and he WON a tri earlier this summer.  So I'm in a group with some real seriously awesome hardcore athletes.  But it's still hard to be slow when you swim in a group with people like Mrs. Fearless Leader who is so fast and strong that she leaves a wake.  I wonder if we could sell wakeboard excursions powered by her...

And being slow makes me feel bad, and then I start feeling frustrated and get out of breath and lose my stroke because I'm busy being frustrated.

I decided to swim backwards to focus on swimming against myself.  It seemed to work.  Swimming against the crowd meant that I got to see some people I usually never see (because they are too far ahead) and I got to work on my stroke and technique without being frustrated that I was so much slower than everyone else.

I also debuted my new goggles.  After suffering with increasingly leaky goggles for the last few months, I finally broke down and asked Mrs. Fearless Leader about them.  She shared that she replaces her goggles about once a year.

Ahem.  My leaky ones were over 4 years old, and flaking metallic coating.  It was high time for new ones.  I have Tyr Pro Nanos now.  They are metallic white goggles.  So I look smashing in my red cap and white goggles.  Well, as smashing as one can look in a swim cap and goggles, that is.  Best part, no leaks!  Leaky goggles were getting quite annoying.  I didn't have to stop once today to pour water out of my goggles.  Yeah!

In other news, several of us have reserved super-fancy bikes to ride on the Hutch's Monday bike ride, so bike excitement is running high right now.

After the swim, M and I decided to hit the Lane County Fair for a Friday night date.  It's a fun little fair, and the fairgrounds aren't far from our house.  We decided to try the fair at night to see stuff all lit up.  We ran into a few cool parishioners, ate fried food on a stick, and shared an elephant ear and Hawaiian shaved ice.  I asked how that was different than, say, a Sno Cone, and the guy couldn't tell me.  I'd be interested in knowing the difference, if you do.
Shaved Ice.  Lemon-lime flavor.  So bright green, it could be used as a glow stick for fireworks.
Multipurpose junk "food"!

We also went to see the animals, like the baby chicks hatching.  One chick was just lying down, and M asked, "What's wrong with that one?"  I said, "Oh, he just hatched, and he's really tired."  And then I stage-whispered, "And that's all we'll say in front the kiddies!"  The parents snickered at that one as their rapt toddlers stared in awe at the hatching eggs.  Pecking order must start early, if I am to judge by the one newly hatched chick pecking at the others.
There's really a chicken under all that.  

And a lop-eared bunny!  Who doesn't love a lop-eared bunny?  They're my favorite!

Finally, we watched the All-Alaskan pig race.  No word on when IronPig North America starts.

The winning pig on his victory stand.  They fed him after he wins.  Winning pigs are eating pigs.  Which means you'd better watch out for the poor hungry losing pigs...

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