Friday, November 17, 2006

Clearwater, FL 70.3, Movie revue, Presidents stuff, Grocery shopping

We returned Monday(13th) from the very first Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Clearwater, FL. Wow, for the first time ever event, this was quite a show. When the trademarked term 70.3 replaced the Half Ironman term there were many naysayers who thought it would never catch on. But, the opposite is the case and it did catch on. There is something about our American mentality and people who do triathlons, that they don't like to be called "half" of something. Yep, I am "half ironman", no, sorry this doesn't fit in our society. You have got to be a whole man/woman or nothing. So, why not be a whole 70.3 competitor of the sport. This distance represents half of the ironman distance and makes you a complete person. Get it!! At any rate I was eager to hear Mike Riley say, "you are a 70.3 when I crossed the finish line!!" Of course by the time I finished they were debating on whether or not to charge me another entry fee for next years race. But, wait a minute I have a story for my slow, late, disgusting finish. The early morning trek to the transition area on race morning was innocent enough and everything seemed fine, then right before the swim start I felt that last minute urge to visit the porta potty; however, I was standing on the edge of the water, trapped in my wetsuit, waiting for the gun to go off. While I knew I had a major problem, there was nothing I could do about it but go with the gun and hope for the best. Well the best I could do was relieve myself, in my wetsuit(disgusting) in the first 100 yards of the swim, then hope that I could squinch the rest of the way. But, I still had over 2000 yards of ocean swimming to go so I knew I was in for a challenge. Then as I made the turnaround and was half done, my potty problem became history, now I developed a breathing problem. Kind of like asthma and another first for me. Now I had mess in my britches, was in an ocean swim, had lady swimmers all around me, and I couldn't breath. Not a healthy combination at all. So, I took a rest on one of the buoys/surf boards(legal to do if you don't advance your position, which I didn't since I couldn't advance anything at this point). The lifeguard ask if I was okay and I was able to say, "hell no I'm not okay or I would be swimming!" He was fine with my answer since he realized my frustration. This was my 292nd triathlon and I didn't want it to end with my wetsuit full of poop and not being able to breath(could that possibly have any correlation?)I took about 7 minutes to get my breath and while I was holding on to the surf board Marti came swimming by and actually ran into the board. How in the hell something like that can happen only God knows. Here we were with 1300 hundred other athletes, me hanging on for dear life and she runs into my board(real swimmers have a tendency to just swim and be damn everything else, just their way!). She looks up and says, "what is wrong, or you okay?" Same reply "hell no I'm not okay, but keep swimming and do your race, I will get there(I didn't take the time to go into all the poop details)." She took my advice and kept swimming. After gathering my breath and feeling like I could continue I set out to swim on in. Everything was fine for about 300 yards, then it hit again. Now there were women all around me, resembling barracudas, snarling, biting, scratching, hitting, yelling get out of our way. So, I literally fought my way over to another buoy/surf board and ask to rest again until I could breath. The guy said no problem take as long as you like and you only have 500 yards to go(seemed like 500 miles to me). I took another 5 or 7 minutes then struggled in. It amazes me when you come into the finish of the swim and everyone says, "looking good!" Looking good hell, I just pooped in my britches, have breathing problems in an ocean swim, was kicked and abused by 500 women and I'm looking good? Don't thank so, but I did say, "thank you!" Now to transition to the 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run and the day would be over. So, for the next six and half hours that is what I did. After the swim it seemed like I was on vacation and the day went smooth from there. Since I was so far behind the other athletes, there were only 5 bicycles left in the transition area when I started the bike, I had the course to myself. I rode as hard as I could, enjoyed the few people who were back there with me and then had lots of fun on the run, getting to know the volunteers and enjoyed the pretzels. The good news is I finished number 292nd on the same day I started and I did the very first 70.3 World Championship. I commend the staff of WTC and their volunteers for a great event and wish to thank Ben Fertic, President of WTC, for being at the finish line and shaking my hand. Even though I have proclaimed over the years that I am not a triathlete but simply an athlete doing triathlons, I am always treated just like all the triathletes in the sport. That is why I love this sport, there is no prejudice against you for age or ability. Got to love it!!

Movie revue: "Stranger Than Fiction"*****While our local critic gave it a ***1/2 rating I have to disagree and have marked it up to five. The reason being is that it has such an original and innovative way of delivering the message of the story. Since Will Ferrell is the lead actor you have a tendency to expect some of his typically bad stuff, but this guy is really a good actor. Dustin Hoffman does a great job in a support role. Warning, be real patient in the beginning of the film since it has a tendency to drag a little, plus you expect Ferrell to take it to never never land. But, then the story really starts to pick up and develop. Of course there is some boy/girl stuff that adds to the film, but is done is good taste. Nothing offensive here at all and fits real well with the story. Great ending also!!

American Presidents trivia: What some presidents said about themselves, guess who the president is. They will be revealed on the next post, let's see how well you know the presidents. On my last quiz posted on AOL comparing the two Bush(league) presidents I actually scored a 100. But, the answers were evident since it had to do with performance comparisons of the two while in office, need I say more. Which president said this about himself? 1. What homely president was accused of being two-faced and replied, "If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one"?, 2. What chubby man admitted, "There are few people in the world with whom I can converse." 3. What one term president predicted(incorrectly) that "history will vindicate my memory." 4. What quiet man claimed that "Nature intended me for the tranquil pursuits of science, by rendering them my supreme delight." 5. What military man said, "The truth is, I am more a farmer than a soldier. I never went into the army without regret and never retired without pleasure."

While I thought I was getting this grocery shopping think down to a science I got stumped by a product called, "soft scrub with bleach." After going up aisle after aisle I finally had to ask, "where is the soft scrub with bleach?" Well now I am not feeling too bad since this full time employee couldn't find it either. Of course he did finally locate it and I was out of there. Things like this amaze me since they just don't seem to be in the correct place. For example, the olives are a mystery to me. I found these Llano Estacado jalapeno stuffed olives, by accident, on my last trip and have enjoyed them very much. So, I go back to the olive section to get some more but find that they are really not in the olive section. This kind of ticked me off so I just didn't ask and left without them. But, when I got home I noticed I only have two left wich will require me to inquire, "where the hell are the Llano Estacado olives?" Afterall Kinky said, why vote for me is not the question or answer, the answer is "why the hell not?" So I guess I can ask in the same manner. Of course he lost the election but made a strong show and will sell lots of books.

Off to do a legal mediation and do some swimming!



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