Friday, June 17, 2011

It's summertime! Booty shake.

It's summer!

Kind of.

According to Environment Canada, it's 8C. According to my window and the puddles, it's raining. So, it's kind of sort of possibly starting to be summer. Just a wee bit. However, since weather is a poor indicator of seasonal change that is merely based on a calendar date and the Earth's position relative to the sun, I offer you the following items that are actual signs of summer. Also, trivia that I picked up at Churchill Arms over the winter (note: also won a free beer for knowing Beauty and the Beast was the seventh longest running play on Broadway): in Sweden the change of seasons is actually weather based and not calendar based. Summer starts when the average daily temperature has been at least 10C for seven consecutive days. Based on this logic, it is still spring in Charlottetown. Spring starts with seven consecutive days of an average of at least 0C. That means even spring probably has not yet started in Charlottetown.

Just kidding! I referenced Environment Canada's historic data (one of my favourite geek-things to do), and spring started on April 24. Also, there is a good chance 'summer' will start tomorrow. This is where I have a minor problem with the Swedish method... Summer? Really? The standard should be raised to a mean of 15C for seven consecutive days. However, that would be depressing, because summer wouldn't start until July 23 and would end on July 48th (new day based on my calendar enhancements of extending July and August by 15 days each and eliminating the month of November).

I give you, signs of summer.
  • Biking attire: can get away with not wearing multiple layers, full fingered gloves, and wool socks for at least three consecutive rides. Note: this has not happened yet.
  • Rickshaw Guy: seeing him around town on weekend nights. Happened once so far on a Thursday, but clearly he shivered and left town for a bit.
  • Patios: Old Triangle patio becomes very busy. I feel like I should get priority seating due to frequenting the establishment year round as opposed to on sunny days only. Also, watch out if you see my workmates and I there. Last time we somehow broke the picnic table we were sitting at? From now on we weigh people before we hire them. (Just kidding... from now on we don't stuff 9 people onto a medium-sized, frail picnic table.)
  • Dresses, skirts, shorts: upon returning from North African/Middle East holiday at the end of April I decided I was not going to wear pants anymore! Summer had started. Well, that was an unfortunate, unintentional lie. But soon.. Soon! Right now we have to settle for capri season... occasionally with boots.
  • June bugs: I hate them. A lot. They make me act girly and emit high pitch noises from my mouth and swot at the air. However, they haven't really appeared much this year, thus, it's not yet summer. Fact: Lady June Bugs spend about two weeks laying up to sixty eggs and do have a lifespan of longer than one day. Ack.
  • "It's so nice out!" I can't help it, I say this about twice per hour on nice days. I probably said it 589 times last Saturday while a friend squealed, "I'm so happy!" in response almost every time. Wind blockage + direct sunlight = win(-sunburnlevel).
  • Forgetting to wear clothes: I like wearing my bathing suit all day. Sometimes I forgot it's not appropriate to wear it into shops (PEI isn't Hawai'i?), particularly when stopping for ice cream on the way home from the beach. This also hasn't happened yet, thus, still spring.
  • Urge to flash/moon people: I get funny tan lines and apparently want to share them inappropriately to the world. Unfortunately, male mooning is always hilarious, and female mooning tends to be looked upon as a lil slutty. The only way I can think to fix this issue is to draw a picture of a cute duke on the exposed skin. "Stupid, skanky chick... OH MY GOD! A drawing of a cute duck! She is amazing and we must be her friend due to her love of water fowl and the arts."

Note: I write this last week, updated it last night, and am now posting it today. Unfortunately it got too cold last night and it's not summer today. Today the seven-day count restarts at day 1. Hoping for summer start on June 24!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Let's get physical!

Nothing like stealing song lyrics when you can't think of a proper title.

As one of the my last posts pertained to the Red Island Relay and a few people asked me how it went, here is our very dramatic conclusion!

I biked. It went well.

I biked again a bit later. It went very well.

I kayaked right after that. It went pretty well.

Then I ran over the finish line and no one paid attention or clapped, so I thought about dramatically collapsing onto the ground in hopes someone would notice me. Instead I just walked back to the kayak to help Heidi with stuff and fetch my discarded clothing. No, I did not do the kayak naked (would I have gotten bonus points? Or at least more acknowledgement on our dramatic finish), but had shed my sneaks, socks, and extra long sleeves pre-kayak after my wobbly run down from the bike finishing area.

The end.

Ooooh, more detail requested? Okee.

People run goooood.

Weather was a bit chilly for the first couple of legs, but the wind was calm and not many specks of rain had fallen. I was powering on an awesome 4.5 hours of sleep (it's how I roll, baby cakes) but was feeling good. Unfortunately, I basically have no pictures of the event or participating, slight disadvantage of being on a two-person team.

First leg is the 7.7ish-km run. Heidi did that, and Heidi did wonderful! However, upon running back into the transition area, her devil horns popped out and she sneared at me, "Get this damn thing off of me!" referring to the ankle strap that had our timing chip. I obliged, waved, and cheerily biked away. Advantage of two-person team: if your partner (temporarily) hates you, it doesn't matter because you won't see her/him for more than thirty seconds anyway.

Second leg (Aka J-Mac leg no. 1) was about 27 km of biking on the road. Last year I didn't complete this leg due to an unfortunate flat tired (le sad), but this year, I am happy to report that my only flat took place before the race, and wasn't my fault at all. The lovely Sporting Intentions people were pumping up my bike tires (I had my own pump, but theirs cost about 6x as much as mine and was about 400x better than mine) and managed to rip the valve right off the tube when taking the pump valve off. On the plus side, they fixed my flat for me! And I was well prepared with spare tubes for both bikes. Anyway, my bike adventure took me about 1:01:19 (good enough to place 13 of 18 two-person teams, and second among two-female teams, which I was pumped about as I wanted to do it in about an hour, and figure I spent almost a minute in the transition area ripping the ankle strap off Heidi. I also passed people, which helped my self esteem. They don't say it in school during health class, but being faster can make you feel better about yourself. Write that down.

Next up was more running by Heidi. Not gonna lie, I was not envious at all and was so happy she was running. As previously mentioned to many people, I run only when being chased, or when chasing something ($20 bill blowing down the street). This run was about 10 km, which would be about 11 more than I would wish to run. Heidi was in good spirits when I got back, and took off, running of course.

While Heidi was off on her second leg, I did important things like sit in my warm car and listen to music while eating/rehydrating, changed into a completely new 'outfit' for the next leg, and stood under the warm hand dryer in the washroom because I was shivering and so chilly it was making my boobs hurt. Hence the new, dry clothes.

When Heidi came back from long leg no. 3, she stated that she hated me for making her do this. I, again, smiled, waved, and biked away. Once I reached kilometre 0.0003, my legs started burning and I kept thinking about the 2010 Olympics where suddenly every commentator had become an expert on lactic acid, particularly during the speedskaters' 5,000 M. This leg would be about 19 km and was on the Confederation Trail. I bopped along, panting (on both legs I basically sounded like I was developing asthma on-the-fly), singing a bit, and then panting some more since I lacked the lung capacity to bike as fast as I could and sing. In the end, my ride was 49:39 which is a bit slower than last year, but my parents still love me anyway. I came 7th (!!!!) in the two-person category, and first among two-female teams. I feel like I'm bragging, but I'm just excited because, oh, here is a secret, other than school and test marks, I've never been first in anything. Ever. Unless you count races against cousins within a month after they learned to walk. And I will admit, there were only four two-female teams. But I'm still excited anyway.

Last up was the kayak. I screwed up our time by "running" out the entrance instead of exit, and then got all flustered when the timer man glared at me with eyes of rage and anger. And by "run", I mean "pathetic jog" since my legs were a rubbery burning mess. Our kayak went well, and Heidi didn't hate me anymore (yay!). It's about 6 km, and took us 48:43 which we were both pleased with given our lack of kayaking experience. Annnnnd, here's the kicker....

We won medals for being third in our division!

Yes, third out of four teams in our division, but I don't care. The only medals I ever got weren't really 'earned', but received because everyone in the league got one at the end of season. Move aside T-Ball Summer 1986, your spot has been taken.

I love us!

PS: Heidi, I stole your picture and put it online for the whole world to see.

PPS: Bike outfit number one was much prettier and much more flattering. It deserved a first-place medal for "Hheeeeeey, baby!"

PPPS: I didn't proof read this as I missed my goal bedtime by one hour. C'est la vie. Like the bottle of wine I bought last weekend, called, C'est la Vie.
The end.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Jen & Graham's Magical Bike Ride Adventure

Let's ride bikes!

View Larger Map

That route looks good. Zoom out and it'll look a little more impressive. The entire route is about 67 kilometres and would apparently take 1.5 hours in a *le sigh* terribly boring, non-endorphin-releasing car. Little did we know upon leaving our homes (which are not at the grocery store like the map suggests) what great things would await us on our afternoon ride.

Kilometre 1: Bulk Barn stop. Bought trail mix as opposed to gummy worms and chocolate covered almonds because I wanted the cashier to think I am an impressive athlete.

Kilometre 3 -14: Bike into the wind, feel cold, and complain mentally to myself about how stupid June weather is being.

Kilometre 14.5: Get chased by a freakishly fast dog who doesn't understand basic English commands screamed by an angry woman, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" "Go away!" and "F--k OFF!!!!" Graham and I become unexpected sprinters and the dog keeps good pace. A car comes up behind us and starts honking at the Beast and it gets distracted. A car was also coming in the other direction and we can assume the dog is probably dead now or had at least had a near-death experience. Can't say I care, particularly as its owners watched it take off from the yard after us.

Kilometre 25ish: See that the road is ripped up at the National Park entrance and divert to what was an amazing experience...

Kilometre 31: Decide to stop at Stanhope Resort for a wee stretch of the legs and some trail mix gobble. However(!), come across an open house for the resort and instead eat half a cookie, mussels, and a few chips. I even have leftover chocolate in my pockets. Even better: sit inside and warm up for 15 minutes. Instantly shiver violently upon going back outside because I refuse to wear wool socks and a fleece while biking in JUNE.

Kilometre 32 - 37ish: Five kilometres of National Park bliss with a nicely paved trail parallel to the road. (Also rewarding: spelling parallel correctly on my first try. Oh yeeeah.)

Some other Point: Bike by a field of llamas (alpacas?) and they all turn and stare at us. Since Graham was already a bit ahead of me I didn't bother to stop and run up to the fence and become their favourite cyclist friend. Next time. By the way, also confused about the difference between an alpaca and llama?
The internet it here to help!

All the way home except Victoria Park "Victory Loop": amazing tail wind. Stop shivering.

Now: Come home, lay down on couch. Start shivering. Sit on the floor of my shower and let hot water rain down my head until I warm up.

I love weekends.