We spend much of our lives just waiting around. Even though I think Jason and I do a good job of staying active, busy, and filling the time, I still end up waiting a lot. Friday I flew to Coeur d'Alene for Jason's Ironman and we drove home Monday. For example, here is the waiting I did this weekend.

Waiting at the Victoria airport to catch a flight to Seattle.
It was pretty quiet there for a Friday afternoon.

Aren't the little planes that take us off the island cute?

Waiting to take off.

Waiting to disembark.

Waiting at customs (didn't think I should take a picture there,
I'm pretty sure they frown on that).

Waiting in the Seattle airport for my flight to Spokane.
I decided to wait somewhere useful.

Waiting at the gate to board the plane.

Waiting to go for a ride.

Waiting at lights during my ride.

Waiting for Jason as he checks in his gear at IMCDA.

Waiting for Jason's race to start in the morning.

Waiting for Jason to relax after racing before going to dinner.

Waiting to cross the border.

Bonus - no waiting for the ferry home, we drove right on!

Trainer Riding

There have been a lot of talk, articles, and generally hubbub about trainer riding lately. I'm pleased to report that Jason and Coach Kiki have had me on the trainer riding bandwagon before there was even a bandwagon. So here are some tips on how to make what can be an excruciatingly boring workout actually fun... and hard!

Obviously a bike, but really important - a good trainer! We have had many generations of trainers, and found that it's generally true that a fairly large chunk of change has to be spent on getting a good trainer. Back in the 80's I owned a "wind" trainer, graduated to magnetic, and now we have fluid trainers and they're awesome. Quiet, smooth, and a lot of resistance.

Some essentials - a towel because it doesn't take long before the sweat is dripping, my Garmin (even though I'm not going anywhere...) to measure time and cadence, and the tv remote for some background noise, as I can never seem to concentrate on an actual show while I'm riding.

A fan (see above about the sweat), especially when riding in the summer.

A workout. It's not a good use of time to just sit and spin. Trainer workouts can be really intense, focused, and useful.

A little buddy to come check on you periodically.

A riding partner - helps with motivation, eases the boredom, and gives some general camaraderie.

A positive attitude - it can be tough to (literally) spin your wheels for an hour, two, or more in the basement.

Running Surprise

Yesterday afternoon Humu and I were running a trail on the outskirts of town. It's a trail we run a lot, and yesterday was a pretty typical day for that trail. Lots of birds, a snake, more birds... then from out of the woods came a giant. A huge elk sauntered casually across the trail, completely unconcerned with our presence.

Wildlife around these parts is a pretty common occurrence. The particular trail we were on seems to always have signs posted by people warning of a bear or cougar in the area. I've seen elk outside of town, from my bike or my car as they're grazing in a field. I was surprised to see one so close to town, and on it's own as they're usually in large groups. I wondered if I was about to run smack into the entire herd. The sub-species of elk we have on the island, Roosevelt elk, is larger than their rocky mountain cousins, and this point is brought home when you are standing in front of one by yourself.

I didn't have my phone or camera with me, so I couldn't
get my own picture. This one is from Wikipedia.
It wasn't easy to find a good pic; when I googled elk images
most of them were dead, with a hunter standing over them.

Luckily Humu was behind me, so I caught her and clipped her leash on before she took off. She REALLY wanted to chase the elk (I never said she was the smartest dog), and holding back a dog who is more than 60 pounds of pure muscle is no easy task! I'm pretty sure that even though elk aren't known as vicious, it wouldn't care for being chased by my dog and Humu would lose that battle. The elk disappeared into the trees, and soon enough Humu was distracted by birds and other smells again.

Good Deeds

Smack in the middle of my beautiful sunny ride this morning, I saw a woman walking her bike on the side of the road. I pulled over when I noticed she had a flat, and asked if I could help. Wow, I thought to myself, here is my chance to do something nice for a complete stranger! We so rarely get the chance to do a true good deed.

She didn't really know how to change a flat, and she'd given her spare tube away to a friend on a previous ride, so was pretty stuck. She was trying to get ahold of her husband to come and get her. I do know how to change a flat, and I was carrying a tube (even though I ride road tubeless and almost never flat - still want to be prepared in case I do...), and better still had a CO2 cartridge tucked in my seatbag from the sprint tri two weeks ago. I was pretty excited about that, because I rarely use a CO2 cartridge and have these panicky thoughts at times that when I really need to, in the middle of a race, I won't know how (even though yes, I have practiced), and my tire change will take longer than my bike split.

So I helped change the tire and inflated it using the CO2, and helped her put her wheel back on and get everything dialed in again. She was heading the same direction as me, so we rode to town together. So now my good deed made me feel warm and fuzzy about helping someone, gave me a chance to practice changing a tire, and gave me a riding partner for a bit. Win-win-win!

We had a really nice chat all the way back to town, about tonnes of stuff we had in common. Turns out she was also a high school biology teacher, from up-island, heading to my town for her daughter's swim meet. She's getting into triathlon, and is doing some of the sprint races I did last year. And to top it all off, we had a skookum tailwind pushing us back into town - obviously my reward for stopping to lend a hand.

She graciously offered to stop at the local shop, buy a tube, and deliver it to my house. Instead, I asked her to stop for someone who needs help someday and pay it forward. I like thinking of all of us, in this global village, looking out for each other and taking care of those who need help. What a nice world it is, when the sun is shining, we are all smiling, and giving from the heart.