Urgent matters

Work has been busy. Tempers have been flaring. Angry hot words sizzle like an egg frying on the hot summer sidewalk. 

On Monday, I paid for the afternoon I took off from work on Friday. I am afraid to take any time off because I have to work ten times as hard to make up for it. I feel guilty leaving our employee to cover for me when the work load is heavy.  

Over the past couple weeks, one of our vendors was updating their website which caused an order that we spent over an hour placing to be all messed up. This kept our clients waiting longer than they usually do. Our vendor did not return our calls regarding our issues because they were bottlenecked which caused us to be bottlenecked. Deadlines were approaching, clients called in desperation. Tetris again. I made the decision to spend a couple hours after work placing the order again despite the double charges. I asked for reimbursement but we might end up eating the double charges. Stress. It seems to happen day after day.

Paul and I were finally getting along only to fight again. We only have time for the urgent matters now not the important things. I was upset that he had play practice on my birthday. He said that he wished he never decided to try out for the play. He was pressured because he would make a perfect lead. He thought I would understand the commitment that 450 lines would take. The play is only a few weeks away. He apologized.  

I was a little miffed that he took 2 of his theater friends sailboat racing last week. I didn’t like the fact that he took a younger single woman that has the hots for him. He had an open invitation to whoever wanted to crew and she took it. Not me. Whatever. I guess she had a horrible time. He had 2 new crew members on a really windy race night. The boat did a lot of heeling and the woman was terrified. She spent a lot of time hiding in the cabin. It wasn’t a peaceful evening like their first sail. Paul didn’t do too well that night. He apologized that I felt left out. 

We finally were able to talk things through and work things out just to fight again. Friday night Paul exploded. He tends to let it all out in one angry storm. It reminded me of a time last summer when Paul was angry. He made homemade pizza for supper which we were starting to enjoy on our deck table outside. He was angry about something. He set his glass down on the table hard to emphasize a point. The table cracked and shattered into a zillion little pieces. Then he went around the house roaring and screaming as loud as he could with the windows open. I briefly wondered what the new neighbor’s thought. Afterwards, he apologized. 

There have been a lot of stressors for Paul. He is stressed about the play, work, the kids, and his mother with terminal cancer. He had a screaming fit Friday night, the day before the graduation party. It was stressful preparing for the party. Would the weather be nice? Did we have enough food? Etc..  Plus it was hard for Paul because not one family member of his would be attending. How strange is it to have a big party for your child with no one respresenting you there? He is like an adult orphan, all alone. He only really has me.

I have been really stressed out too. My anger releases slowly, just a little steam at a time. I criticize. I condemn. I judge his outburst with unforgiveness. I hate. I consistently pour out whispered four letter “s” and “f” words throughout the day. I am no better. SSsssstttrreesssss…

I think that we are finally getting along again. It took awhile. Marriage can be like that at times. 

I am trying not to let the day to day stress get to me. Paul and I have to be on the same team to make this marriage, family, and business work. 

I need to look forward to some stress free time away. I am starting to plan a business trip out to California this fall. Paul and I have never been out to the west coast. Maybe we can add a couple of days of fun while we are out there.  

My first tri

This past weekend I crossed doing a triathlon off my bucket list.

I was feeling rather nervous and edgy the evening before the race when I went to pick up my race packet. I was not familiar with the town, only having been there once before the race. The lake was a lot bigger than I remembered it being. I was afraid that I would have to swim across it. A few people told me horror stories right before the race about people grabbing legs and dragging you down while swimming. I spoke to the coordinator of the event who put my mind relatively at ease. The race was capped at 150 participants. I was starting in the last wave with my age group. 

It was hard to sleep the night before. I set several alarms around the house for 5 AM. Honestly, I was up before 5 at the first crack of dawn. I was really worried that I would forget something or that I would have problems with my bike. But all was well. My friend Cori and her daughter were also in the race. Cori is a half iron finisher so she gave me a lot of advice and a tri outfit to wear. She showed me how to position my gear to make for a faster transition.

Then Cori told me that it was a swimming tri. Instead of doing a normal sprint tri of 400 meters, this race was a 750 meter swim almost a half mile. This was a concern of mine since swimming was my weakest link. I started swimming a month before the race. The only experience I had before that were a couple of basic swimming lessons when I was a kid. I got a lot of swimming advice from Cori which was probably a mistake.

Cori told me to swim in open water to train. But Cori is terrified of swimming in open water whereas I am not. So I practiced swimming in open water after training for the marathon when the weather was nice. I don’t have a gym membership or a wet suit. What I did not practice was lap swimming. This would have helped me strengthen my core and swim in a straight line. The swimming course veered to the right. I am left handed with a stronger left arm that took me away from the course into deep water. I had a hard time swimming in a straight line and ended up zigzagging across the course with my head out of water to see where I was going. Big no no. I had a sore neck afterwards which really tells you that I was doing it all wrong.

I was not the last swimmer in my age group, but was close to the end. The distance was twice as far as what I was practicing for. I did not have good technique or form. It was my biggest area for improvement. I decided that I will start learning technique and will practice lap swimming over the winter. All in all I was satisfied for the amount of training I did. 

I don’t think that I really needed to practice the water to bike transition as much as I needed to practice the bike to running transition. It took several times before I got used to the wobbly feeling after biking to be able to run like normal.

The biking part of the tri went fairly well. I didn’t see a lot of people for this part at all. I passed one person and one person passed me, otherwise it was pretty lonely. For awhile there was no one on the road in front of me or behind me. At times I thought that I was on the wrong path until I came across an empty Gu packet. On the route, I did slow down a bit when three deer crossed the road in front of me. I started off the biking going pretty fast until I rounded a corner, hit a bump, and lost control of my bike. I flew into the ditch but was able to get back on the road before falling or crashing. It scared me a little, enough to slow down a bit. Thankfully no one was around to see my show. It was hard to stay motivated until I saw someone up ahead that I could pass.

I think that I was pretty average as far as biking goes. I need more confidence which will come with experience. I am still not sure how to easily switch gears and sometimes would put it on the wrong speed. I also have to work on my balance and keeping control of my bike while staying in my lane. Oh, then there is the chafing. I wasn’t quite expecting that. 

Last came the run. As I was biking in, I saw a lot of walkers. Running is my strong suit. I left my bike running. I ran fast and hard. I was able to pass about 15 people on the running. This is the first race that I ran without music. It was fun to hear the people cheer. I was worried that getting my music on would slow my transition. I also saw in the rules that it was not allowed and I didn’t want to be disqualified on my first tri. Lol. I also stopped at stop signs which was a bike rule although others didn’t. The tri was so small that they weren’t able to close down the roads. Although there were times I didn’t see a car for miles. It was mainly on scenic wooded back roads.  

Overall, I was able to complete my first tri around the two hour mark which put me right in the middle of my age group. My goal was not to place or even finish. This time I wanted to learn everything I could. Then take that knowledge to go further, improve myself, tri something new, push myself towards new goals, and to have a fun time competing. 

Tri success!

The full moon sailboat race

 

Last night was the full moon sailboat race. This lighthouse was our first destination. It was a hot night with a light breeze.  

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

  

This was the first time that we sailed at night deliberately. I liked this picture because the moon looks like a skull. It made for a creepy effect.

We ended up having a total of 6 people crewing this race. I didn’t know 3 of the people. Rum dumb Randy was a part of the evening crew and he brought a friend that really had a taste for rum. Randy behaved himself, but his friend was rather colorful. His friend invited us to sail the Caribbean with him this fall during hurricane season. Um, no! Then there was another really nice couple. 

It is funny how many friends you have once you get a sailboat. Suddenly, I am no longer unfriended and I have a personality.

Tri happinessĀ 

My first triathlon is two weeks away. Today was the first time that I put all three events (swimming, biking, and running) together.

I’ll admit I was pretty nervous. Paul loaded up all of my gear into his truck and drove me to the sailing club while I talked to him about all of my fears. He said that it would take a lot less time if I talked about what I wasn’t afraid of. Really this it what it is about for me, conquering my fears.

I stood at the edge of the water for a long time. Could I do it? I had to get my nerve. I never saw anyone swim at the sailing club before. Paul said not to swim near the boats because I could get electrocuted. Hhhhmmm, that wasn’t on my long list of fears…so I added it. I looked down at the algae encrusted rock that I decided to jump in from. I saw a very large fish swim away into the weeds. I heard loud bullfrogs croaking nearby. I felt like I might croak as well.

There were quite a few people at the club this morning. Could I face them again if I wimped out? After about 20 minutes, I finally jumped in. I swam a total of 1/3 of a mile near the buoys. Just to explain, I was swimming in a large body of water. On the way back, I freaked out a little. The waves were trying to push me beyond the buoys. I worried about riptides. I thought about the story I heard last week of someone drowning from a riptide. Or what if a sailboat was trying to go in or out of the harbor and I didn’t notice? Somehow I managed to get back without being eaten by a fish with teeth, giant turtles, or man eating bullfrogs. I did get swooped by a few birds though.

Then I did the transition from water to bike. I bought elastic shoelaces this week. I came up with the idea of putting them on my old running shoes. Worked great! I biked home. The first mile was over deserted back roads. I feared rabid crazed dogs chasing me. Or sexual predators. How I prayed not to be prey. The rest of the way home was on a busy county road that had narrow shoulders and deep ditches. Somehow I managed to not get hit by a car so it was a good day.

Then I went for a 3 mile run. I feel most confident with my running. As I was nearing the end, I noticed that a car stopped and parked on the road up ahead. Did I do all of this work just to get bumped off now? 

Somehow I survived and I am happy with how it went.

Race the sails


Last night was race night at the sailing club.

It was a windy evening and the waves were high. I am still rocking a bit as I type these lines.

I am an alternate racer when Paul’s regular crew can’t be there.

It is an unwritten rule that men do not race with their wives. The reasoning behind this is that the men get rather worked up and tend to do a lot of yelling and sailor talk. But I figured since I work with my husband I could handle that. So, in other words, I am used to functioning in that mode already. After the race, I was asked if I got yelled at a lot. I replied that I did not get yelled at but did the yelling. Lol. It is a well known fact that I am a lot more competitive than Paul.

After the race, the ladies put on a meal for the sailors. I was one of the very few women that joined the ranks of sailor.

To be honest with you, I would rather go on a leisurely cruise than race though. Racing is a lot of work. Everything happens very fast. At a moment’s notice you have to tack. This requires a lot of upper body strength to pull the lines as fast and as hard as you can. I can see why a lot of women who are older than me would have a hard time doing this. It is hard for me and I consider myself a strong woman.

Racing also requires getting out on the bow with the whisker pole. This pole holds open the sheets in opposite directions to catch the wind. It also looks like someone is out on the bow doing ballet (or pole dancing), which can be tricky when the surface is wet. After they are done with that dance, they should take a bow.

Sometimes racing requires fighting gravity to run from one side of the boat to another quickly over lines that are in the way. Last night I had to get up on the bow to untangle a line. It really is a bigger workout than you would think it would be. It took the wind out of me! All the while fighting off other sailors that are trying to steal your wind..

I took this picture at the boat races last year when I wasn’t racing. The class A sailors use their spinnakers which are the colorful sails at the front of the boat. We are not in class A. We did take 2nd place last night which wasn’t too bad since we botched our start. This weekend there is a full moon sailboat race. Sounds like an adventure to me!

There is no doubt that I will get roped into doing this again.