July 26, 2008

Triathlon Turned Me Into a Slob

I've never been a neat freak, but I used to be the tidy sort. It was the result of 10 years of living in some of the smallest apartments known to man, typical of life in NYC. I loved throwing things away and keeping clutter to a minimum. But that was before I took up triathlon. I've been watching my surroundings gradually go to pieces yet I haven't set aside the time to clean it up. So tonight it was finally time.

Let me first confess that the only reason cleaning suddenly took priority is because the cable, and therefore the Internet, is out. Otherwise I'm sure I'd be online reading more triathlon stuff or browsing the Beginner Triathlete forum. It's amazing how much I was able to get done during this Internet-free period. Of course I'm forced to thumb out this post on my BlackBerry which is no treat, but it might keep me succinct for once.

During my clean-up quest I discovered I still have a dining room table. I haven't seen the surface of it in months. There were magazines, piles of old mail, info from races and the boxes and instructions from my recent gadget and gear purchases. Piled in the recycling room, the boxes looked like the remnants of some sort of athlete's shopping spree - Garmin, Shimano, Tanita, Specialized, Sidi. My sporty neighbors will be jealous. If only they knew the boxes piled up for months, threatening to overtake my apartment.

It looks much better in here now, but there is still work to be done. I can only handle so much domestic duty at a time so it will have to wait. But never fear, my bike is still in the foyer, there are at least 6 pairs of shoes and two helmets by the door and my wetsuit is hanging in the bathroom. Otherwise it might feel like someone else's apartment.

Before my cleaning spree, I had another great open water swim at Brighton Beach with my swim buddy Roberto. I got a late start since I had to pick up my race packet for the NYC Half Marathon tomorrow. The water looked deceivingly calm, but felt much rougher once we got in. The current was fairly neutral so we were able to swim down and back with the same resistence in each direction. About 2/3 of the way through the first length the water got significantly more choppy and remained that way the entire way back. I got rolled over once while breathing, most likely from a boat kicking up bigger waves. We saw our jellyfish friends a couple times but they were a few feet below the surface so contact wasn't an issue for once. Overall it was a great swim and a beautiful day for it. I can't believe how far I've come and I will never forget how helpless I felt my first time at Brighton Beach just a month ago.

Tomorrow bright and early is the NYC Half Marathon. I've done this race twice before so I know what to expect. What I don't know is how my legs will feel given my lack of running training in recent weeks. The tri took priority so I don't regret it, but I'm likely in for either a painful or slow race, or perhaps even both. Or maybe my legs will surprise me. I'll just have to wait and see. But I know I'll enjoy it regardless. There's nothing quite like running through Times Square and having the streets to yourself. I'll also be racing on the West Side Highway for the second week in a row, only downtown this time. I love thinking about the ground I've covered in NYC on my feet and on my bike. There is no better way to see it and experience it, and for that I feel fortunate.

Distance - 1760 yards (1 mile)
Time - 40:24

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