A Chilling Update


It was butt cold today, and it’s going to get much colder, and not expected to get above freezing for the next few days. They are opening emergency shelters)

We had some hail, snow and other forms of frozen and semi-frozen snot like precipitation fall from the sky yesterday so the roads (and everything else) were wet when it re-froze last night (we’ve been getting a few degrees above freezing during the day but that’s over with for now)

It was quite the ice fest this morning. I was quite happy to be home, snuggled up on the couch with a latte and no where that I needed to bed.

I spent a good portion of my morning learning about automated batch processing in Photoshop (I don’t have the time to do it on hundreds of individual images every time I get a lot of good shots). Getting a watermark style signature in the correct place regardless of orientation is an interesting process, but I got it up and running.

Signature batch test

I did get up, out and about in the afternoon to run some errands at 2:20 PM, and there was still quite a bit of ice on my truck (I posted a picture earlier today)

One of the things I needed to get was a new topper for my tree. The pretty new one I bought died. The one I brought home this afternoon died after about ten minutes. I found some itty bitty little fuses in the plug and changed them out, but it didn’t work. I’m guessing it was just a defective batch. I’ll take them both back and find something else (not the same thing/brand)

Holiday cards are starting to trickle in…

holiday door 001

I’m hoping that some more snowflakes start to show up soon (why yes, that was a not so subtle hint)

But now, I’m packing up for a snowshoing trip in the Cascades tomorrow.

If it’s not going to get above freezing, we might as well go play in the snow.

Much photo whoreage goodness should be expected tomorrow. night..

Mood: Warm (for now)



Triathlon report Survivor Elma or “Holy Crap! That water was cold!!!


It was a dark and stormy night afternoon…

Being seriously insane I drove down to Elma (West of Olympia heading towards the coast) to do a triathlon, uh yeah… in the rain and wind and cold…

A triathlon in mid April, in Washington State.

Where the water is butt cold until July/August.

When no sane person would go there.

The good news is, I survived and every triathlon I do after this one will be better.

The weather sucked pond water.

The water was butt cold, 51 degrees (F) at the shore, likely less than that where it was deeper.

Here is all my stuff in my transition area… I wore the wetsuit, gap & gogglese for the swim and the bike jacket , bike shoes & Recoverite mix for after the race were placed under plastic because it was raining and that water bottle was used to mix my Heed)

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I thought that maybe I’d stand a chance at a trophy since obviously, no sane person would go out on a day like that, get in water that cold, then get on a bike in a cold wet trisuit, then go run in said cold wet trisuit…

I was wrong. Well over 80 people showed up for the tri.

Getting into the water was tricky. We got into our wet suits and stared at each other waiting to see who would be first.

We got in, gasped, squealed , groaned and made lots of other strange noises, and waited as long as possible to let water into our suits to warm up. One poor woman looked horrified when I explained to her that water was supposed to go in her suit for her body to warm up when she said she was trying to keep it out. “If you were meant to stay dry in it, it would be a dry suit.” About three or four other people looked at her and said, “She’s right.” (I also advised her that she would do well to take her diamond wedding ring off in a lake that cold if she doesn’t want to lose it)

Our feet were instantly numb. The worst part was putting our hands in. There we were, hunkered down in the water (it was too cold to be in the water and too cold to be out of the water), all of us holding our hands up above it. I hope someone got a picture of that; it looked ridiculous.

Uh yeah, I thought the worst part was putting our hands in.

Until I put my head in. It wasn’t so much that my face was numb, it was the worse than an ice cream headache wrapping around our skulls that we got. Even with a neoprene cap (which admittedly was too large for me as it was Gene’s) My head pounded with a sharp blinding pain every time I took more than 4 strokes with my head in the water.

I ended up having to be creative and use some very odd strokes to keep my head above water, which means my swim time sucked pond water (and took way more energy than it should have) I looked around and discovered that pretty much everyone else was doing the same thing. It was just too cold to swim normally face down for more than a few strokes.

The combination of water that cold and my chest being compressed by the neoprene wetsuit made it difficult to relax and breathe properly. This was most definitely the worst swim I ever had… in my entire life…

At least I completed the swim. (no matter how ungainly and slow) One guy had to be pulled from the water due to hypothermia. (I heard about it after the race)

Of course, the joy of a Spring triathlon is spring weather…

According to Weather Underground the air temperature was about 50 degrees at 2:00 PM when the race started. Oh, it was windy too.

So I got on my bike already chilled, wearing a cold wet trisuit and rode 13 miles in the cold wind and rain. With wind chill from the speeds I hit, that would be 32-37 degrees (F) from just riding, not counting the wind that was blowing. (for those not from the US, 32 is freezing)

Here’s the run route. If you’re viewing this on LiveJournal (why won’t LJ allow iframe html code ?) or via RSS feed where the map and/or tracks don’t show up properly, you can just click on the button below

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

I brought along my softshell bike jacket and took the extra time to put it on. It saved my bacon.

My transition from swim to bike went well (this is a manually timed race, so I don’t have transition time) The wetsuit came off easily, the bike shoes went on quickly with the speed laces and I didn’t have to worry about drinking because I had the aero bottle. I actually made up time getting out onto the bike. I could tell because I was out before people who exited the water well ahead of me.

I didn’t put anything on my legs to cover them (Steve is going to have a fit when he hears that) but luckily I didn’t cramp up.

I averaged 16-something miles per hour on the ride, which is not too bad considering that it starts up a long steady hill (on a rough chip sealed road), how cold it was, how cold I was and the wind. I actually passed about 10 people on the bike.

I was oh so thankful for the areobars; there is a lot of wind on this course, especially when weather is blowing in. Oh, did I mention that it was raining?

My transition from bike to run went well, as I had speed laces on both the bike and running shoes ,was hydrated from sipping on the areobottle the whole way and had Cliffshots in my pocket.

That’s when the cold started to get me. My right calf started cramping up. (it was most certainly not a lack of water or electrolytes, I loaded up knowing this race would be tough because of the weather) Luckily, it loosened up and I was able to finish the run in 33 minutes. I know that’s slow, but it was cold, it was after a swim and bike; sadly, it’s faster than I have been running.

Here’s the run route. If you’re viewing this on LiveJournal (why won’t LJ allow iframe html code ?) or via RSS feed where the map and/or tracks don’t show up properly, you can just click on the “view larger map” link

View Larger Map

I came in at 1:31:02 which is not as fast as my last triathlon was at the end of last season, which was 1:28:something. But it was faster than my first triathlon last year (or ever) which was also on the same course and was 1:36:06. (oh, much later in the season and in much better weather)

It wasn’t the time I wanted, but I survived and I’m way ahead of where I was at this time last year.

Oh, and I got a shiny thing. Here it is, with the frigid lake in the background…

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Mood: holy crap I’m tired


Of Pancakes and Peeps

It’s spring; and Easter (for those who celebrate it) is rapidly approaching.

I am remind of this, by all the hits wildcelticrose.net is getting on a certain page.

Yes, I have a web page dedicate to “peep jousting” and microwaving peeps.

click here for PEEPS!!!

Why yes, I am easily amused, why do you ask?

Mother nature seems to have forgotten that it’s allegedly spring, at lest here in the Pacific Northwest. On Friday we were treated to a wicked hail storm (which actually is typical of our spring) nand yesterday morning, unforecast freezing fog.

It was butt cold yesteday morning, 29 degrees F to be exact (for my friends who measure in Celsius, that’s 3 degrees below freezing). It was also very damp out and we actually ended up with ICE on our eyelashes. That was weird.


I did not wear my neoprene bike shoe covers on yesterday morning’s ride (I wear mesh mountain bike shoes because they are the most comfortable most of the year, and need to cover them in freezing weather). I also didn’t wear my insulated winter gloves (left them in the truck because I figured they’d be hot miserable in the return trip. I had to keep checking myself for cappilary refill to make sure I wasn’t going to get frostbite (in addition to sub-freezing temperatures, there’s the issue of wind chill when buzzing down the road on a bike. Oh, and it was even colder when we got to Spanaway.

It was still a fun bike ride with the Tacoma Wheelmen Bicycle Club. Every month or so there is a ride to the senior center in Spanaway adjacent to the LeMay car museum.

The proceeds go to charity, they enjoy having us there, and we get a great breakfast of coffee, juice pancakes, eggs and ham (2nds if we want them) and it’s a lot of fun (oh, and great exercise)

After the ride, I went for a swim and felt really good. I think that adding extra protein to my diet (hard boiled eggs in the morning and branch chain amino acids is helping. My legs don’t hurt or feel fatigued and I’m going for a run today.

Here’s the route we took (roughly 37 miles).

If you are viewing this on LiveJournal, via RSS feed or another method that does not display the map/track properly, you can click on the link that says “view larger map” and it will pop up for you.

View Larger Map

Oh I did a meme… (and am not surprised at my Canadian Slang score seeing as Canada is just up the road eh?)

You Speak Canadian Slang

Canadian Slang: 100%

British Slang: 75%

Aussie Slang: 50%

Southern Slang: 25%

Victorian Slang: 25%

New England Slang: 0%

Now that I’ve eaten and the sinus headache is going away, I’m going to get out for a run (well, more like a waddle, but whatever)

Oh, and like a dork, I’m going to go run in the trees… (yeah, the ones that are spewing pollen) Of course, it’s not like we have a choice here. The silly trees are everywhere…


Mood: cold