Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My New Hero -- A Triathlete

I have a new hero: A triathlete, Casey Peirce, who dove into fridgid waters in Canada to save a couple who had capsized in their canoe. The story is amazing. What a gift she gave them -- the gift of life.

Despite the danger of diving into the frigid mountain water near Canmore, a
Calgary triathlete risked her safety to rescue a pair of boaters whose canoe had
capsized, dragging them and their boat to shore.
Casey Peirce, 30, was on a
bicycle ride with family near Spray Lakes Saturday night, when the group heard
two people in the water yelling for help.
They saw a man and woman about a
kilometre from shore clinging to their overturned canoe and Peirce, a strong
swimmer, dove in for them.
"To be honest I thought twice about jumping in
because I know how cold that water is," said Peirce, who works at the Canadian
Sports Centre in Calgary.
"But I had recently done a triathlon and I knew I
had the training to do it."

She said it took 15 minutes to swim out to the couple, but
at least 45 minutes to swim back with them in tow, her sister Darcy dialling 911
from shore.
Peirce said she knew that since the couple had already been in
the water for an hour, and the woman was mostly submerged, that they didn't have
a lot of time left before they might have succumbed to the cold water.
I got to them, I first asked them if they were injured, but they were both too
cold to speak," Peirce said.
"I knew by the time anyone else got to them, it
would be too late."
The swim proved trying for the triathlete, as she towed
the canoe with a rope tied around her waist, her hands too cold to pull it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Church Shooting in Tennessee Hits Home

Yesterday, around 2 p.m. I heard a report on NPR that 7 people had been shot at a Unitarian Universalist Chuch. I was working, and I did not catch the full story, but , having grown up a Unitarian, and knowing that there are aren't many UU churches, I rushed to the computer found out what church they were talking about. ...Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tenn.

My friend Kim Kredich, who founded Triathlonmoms (the predecessor to TRIgirl Training) and her husband Matt Kredich, TriMom's swim coach (and the swim coach formerly at UR) are members of that church. Our children are roughly the same age. When they lived here, they went to "First Church", or First Unitarian Chuch of Richmond. Kim was always involved with the children's performances here, and even lead and inclusive kids orchestra, for any child who wanted to make music.

Fragmented news reports kept coming in:

7 people injured.... Some with severe head wounds. ....Man pulled out a
shotgun....during a children's performance....1 now dead. 2 now dead.

I called a mutual friend. She didn't know anything.
Finally, I got off of work and called Kim and Matt's house. A message on their machine stated that they were safe. And, a wave of relief ran over me. Because you don't realize how special Kim and Matt are. They are amazing people. The kind of folks who draw others in with their positive energy and magnetism. They are just the best, kindest, most resilient people. And, they are safe.

But, not everyone was. The Washington Post Reports:

A burly usher, 60-year-old Greg McKendry, was hailed as a hero for shielding
others from gunfire as other church members rushed to wrestle the gunman to
the ground. Police arrived at 10:21 a.m., three minutes after getting the
911 call and arrested Adkisson.
No children were hurt, but eight people were shot,
including the two who died _ McKendry and Linda Kraeger, 61.
When the first shot rang out at the rear of the sanctuary, many church
members thought it might be part of the play or a glitch in the public
address system. Some laughed before turning around to see the shooter and
his first victims covered in blood.
A four-page letter found in Jim D. Adkisson's SUV indicated that he targeted
the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church because "he hated the
liberal movement" and was upset with "liberals in general, as well as gays,"
according to Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV. Adkisson, 58, had
a shotgun and 76 shells with him when he entered the church Sunday during a
children's performance of the musical "Annie." Six adults were wounded in the
attack. Owen said the letter indicated that Adkisson did not expect to leave
the church alive.

The Washington Post quoted the pastor in an op-ed piece in the local paper as bringing the church's liberal views to the forefront of the community.

"In the midst of political and religious controversy, I choose to love my
neighbors as myself," Buice [the minister] wrote in an op-ed piece published in March.
"Ultimately, I believe that tolerance, compassion and respect are the qualities
we need to keep Knoxville and East Tennessee beautiful."

Thank God for the bravery of the people who jumped the guy.

Update: I just found out that Kim and Matt and the boys were not at church at all on Sunday. A blessing for them. But does not change the facts in this crazy shooting.

Voices of the Olympics, Blogging Like Never Before

We all know I love blogs! Which is why I'm so glad that I found the Voices of the Olympic Games athlete blogging website. Athletes are blogging about their experience at the Bejing Olympics on Lenovo Ideapad notebooks. The best part? It is athletes from all over the world, some blogging in English, but many blogging in their native tongue.
Whoever made this website did a great job. You can sort the blogs by country, sport and language. Or by all three.
I know I'll be spending alot of time here over the next 3 weeks. Check it out, I bet you will too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I Turned 35, B Day B Fit Race Report

I can't write a long race report, but I wanted to share with you this cool photo of me and my friend Stacia after I was almost finished with the Bday Bfit Birthday Challenge on Tuesday, July 22, the day before my 35th birthday. (I finished the last mile running when I got home).
I started my challenge at 6 a.m. in the pool with the Tuckahoe Masters. Then swam some more, and more, until I'd hit 3 miles. After drinking some much needed coffee, I ran 4 miles on a treadmill (saving 1 precious mile for later, so I could make an appointment). Then home for a few hours with the kids. Oh, and a huge (for me) job interview!
I decided to push my biking back until 5:45 p.m. because it was so damn hot! I think the heat index was 110, but the real temp was certainly around 100 degrees. After the first 6 mile lap at West Creek, I had no idea if I would actually finish this thing in 24 hours for the "gold" designation. I was thinking silver looked pretty awesome, so I could ride my bike in some cooler weather. Thank God the sun went partially behind the trees and things became much more possible all of a sudden. TRIgirl Linda rode with me and Stacia for 2 laps, and then went home to her family for dinner. Hmm. That sounds good, I thought. Stacia had never ridden more than 24 mile before and I certainly didn't expect her to ride 35 with me in this heat, but as the night got cooler, I could see that she might! We had a "cupcake transition" around 7:45 or so. I really wasn't thinking I could stomach a cupcake, but surprise, it was a good idea, and kept me from bonking! Something I really needed since the last 2 laps were filled with the windy gusts of a coming storm (always a headwind of course). We finished up around 9 p.m. after taking a few water breaks. Yes it was dark. And yes, Stacia rode her longest ride ever -- 35 miles, and was such a trooper to stay with me! I might even say that we had fun doing it!
I decided to run at home, or perhaps even run/walk at home with a glass of wine in my hand for the last mile. Yes, I felt like since I was still 34 for a few more hours, I should savor that last one, until I was officially 35. Oh, and If I didn't hurry up, it would be too late, by the time I got home and drank some much needed water it was 9:30. As I unloaded my bike, the storm that we encountered on our bike ride had arrived. The lightning was off in the distance a little, but if you know me, you know I'm terrified of lighting. OK, not terrified, just a little bit too careful around it. My kids aren't embarrassed to tell you that their mom sleeps on the floor during lightning storms because sleeping in a 4 poster brass bed, that would just be stupid! I ran one of my fastest miles since forever because I was so scared. I toyed with the idea of not finishing my last mile, but quickly put that idea out of my head. I mean, a mile is a mile. Thank goodness I'm not afraid of the dark! I ran quickly, sans wine, avoiding metal posts and tall trees like the plague. I mean how stupid would I be if I got hit by lightning doing something like this? As the storm rolled in, I turned around, and barely made my mile in before the rain started. Yes, I made it to 35 in one piece. And it was exhilarating. And when I got home, then I had my glass of wine.
Total time, including my cupcake transition & water stops: 5 hours and 55 minutes and 48 seconds
Swim 3 miles: 2:05. 11 by the time I got out of the pool and remembered to stop my watch
Run 5 miles (split): First 4 miles 53 minutes, last mile 11.5 minutes
Bike 35 miles : hmm, I didn't press my split button, for the breakout, so I'm guessing 2:46 or so.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Tour de Google

I just found an old swimteam buddy on FaceBook, and when I linked to his his brother's webpage, another friend of mine, Bob Cesca. I came across this on his blog. I thought you all might enjoy it.
I still can't watch the Tour. I wonder if this will suffice?

Monday, July 07, 2008

More Inspiration from a SwimmerMom

I hope that the inspiration keeps coming. Dara Torres, 41, just set an American record for the 50 meters freestyle. She is the mom of a 2-year-old.

In this YouTube video, from last year, she explains how it feels, to be a competator and a mom at 41. Thanks to Phaedra and Becky for pointing me in her direction.

Ironman Dreams ....This is Why

I've been needing some inspiration. Perhaps you have too? Go ahead, check it out. XT4, over in Madison, Wi. is blogging his heart out. Something I just might want to ponder again someday soon.
I've been here. Have you?

Because the first time I swam 25 yards I thought probably that would be
about it. Until I could swim 50. Then 100.

Last weekend I got on my bike at 4:45am. Clear dawn was rising on the left side of my road, and the end of a sinister thunderstorm was looming on the right side of the road. Between them, inviting me to ride into it, was a rainbow. I thought, who else sees this now?
People who choose to ride a bicycle at 4:45am, they've lost a bit of their
minds. But it's only when you lose your mind that you see some of the best the
world is.Those who hear not the music think the dancer mad.

....Yes, it is. It is that big of a deal. It is that hard. It really is.
That's sort of the point.
The rest are just details. The rest figures itself out. There's never a
"good time". It's never going to ideally suit your universe. You'll never think
to yourself, "Geez, you know what I'm in the mood for? Madness." It will always
be hard, you will always have to work to find the balance, it will never make
sense to everybody, often not even yourself. And that, too, is part of the
journey, and part of the forging. If you have to talk yourself into it, then
wait until your time comes. Until you're drawn in. Until the current takes you.
But if you're just making excuses...well then. Life is short. Get in