I woke with what I thought was the beginnings of a migraine. At the end of the day, I thought to take my temperature and surprise surprise, was running a fever.
Needless to say, the headache was enough to keep me from my scheduled Monday run.
The headache was gone, but replaced with some fun aches in my hands. Still running a fever, I took a COVID test. The last one in our house. It was inconclusive. These things are like pregnancy tests that use boogers instead of pee. Collect sample. Wait 15 minutes. I developed a cough in the evening. Speedy was sick a few weeks ago with a negative COVID test and my symptoms so far matched his, so I'm really sure it was a case of whatever he had.
I woke feeling fresh as a daisy. No more fever! I decided that the cough was reason enough to keep my body moving. At 40, I feel like things stick to me easier than they did at the end of my 20’s when I picked up running and shed all the baby weight lickity split. Now, things stick. Pizza, chocolate, beer, the air pop popcorn we smother in butter. It all sticks. I didn’t want the phlegm to stick in my lungs and figured the best way to keep it from sticking would be to move in such a manner as to breath hard. Mookie was visiting MeMaw so I ran alone with Pax.
Running without Mookie meant I could see how much of the 20 minutes I could run without a walk break. I let my heart monitor telling me I was out of the cardio zone and Pax’s various needs tell me when I needed a short walk break.
- The usual thing Dogs need to do.
- Suddenly stop and ask for a “Sit” because it’s the only thing that curbs the barking she is prone to do. She barks at strangers. She barks at a certain corner for no reason whatsoever. She barks in the first block because she is so friggin excited to be outside and can’t contain herself. She barks when the kids are ahead of her. I’m about ready to return to the trainer for some professional help. For now, several sudden stops from me where she often sits without a verbal command, seems to do the trick.
After working past some landscapers with the stop/sit exercise, we were about 10 minutes into the run.
Pace- 13:40 Not too bad for a gal carrying around an extra 25 pounds.
Still some coughing at night and in the morning but nothing too bad.
I decided to keep my workout at home. Speedy and Taz joined me for some Pilates peppered with lunges, calf raises and other body weight workouts designed to make a body sore the next day. I coached him on his form for the core exercises and he would exclaim in surprise as what seemed like an easy exercise as he flopped around like a wet noodle on the floor suddenly transformed into a torture device for his 12 year old abdominal muscles.
I woke up to my four legged alarm clock. Sometimes the barking is perfect. Her alarm clock bark is honestly perfect. Don’t let her know, but I am usually awake before she does her soft “Boof” next to my bed. I can hear her pattering around the room. Inspecting the cat. Looking at me. Pacing some more. Returning. Pause.
After she mastered going outside in the morning, she earned bed privilege and began training as my alarm clock. Daylight savings usually throws her for a loop but I can tell her it’s 4am, get back in bed and after an appropriate adolescent dog eye roll, she curls back up between us.
Lately she has decided 5 or 6am is an appropriate time to wake me. This is part of why I got her. She gets me moving in the morning. Even in the winter when the SADD sets in.
Mookie likes to sleep just a little longer, so I’m writing this bloop in my running clothes pre-Friday run. I’ve done my Friday weigh and measure. No change. *Sigh* I swear. Things stick. Ten years ago, after three weeks of faithful workouts and mostly amazing food habits, I would have already dropped between six and eight pounds. Now, not even the tape measure is moving. Ok. it's ok. Just keep moving and know that your heart, lungs etc. etc. are getting stronger. You are helping the seratonin levels. Give it time. Keep embracing the benefits that don't involve your pants fitting looser.
I do feel good about sticking with the plan for three weeks. I do feel stronger. During the race last night, when I trimmed the sails, while still hard, felt easier too. Or at least I liked to imagine that my single UBWO last weekend was already paying off as I grunted for those final two inches of trim in a fashion that is not allowed at the gym.
While I’m waiting for Mookie to wake up for our Friday Morning 25 minute run/walk, a sailing race report for those of you who don’t care what kind of race report you are reading. For the rest, the training stuff for running is now concluded.
Thursday night race report:
This is not running related at all. This is what my husband and I do. Our first date was crabbing on his 14’ glastron. Three years later as we planned the wedding and honeymoon, I pitched the idea of buying a sailboat for the honeymoon. I showed him the prices of some of the boats that might work. Something we could enjoy as a family for the next ten years. We found Argosia, a 1979 San Juan 28, and started following the sail fleet around on Thursday nights when they were out for their club race. I had sailed in High school but hubby had never sailed a boat until we bought Argosia. The best way to learn to sail is to take it out and sail. To learn even faster, race. The last thing you should do is buy a boat and then never take it out because you don’t know how to sail and are afraid to try. Too many boats just sit at our marina.
Every Thursday from March through late September, Thursdays are club race nights. We pack all the kids up for some good old forced family fun. They can hang out below and eat all the snacks they want, play on video games we strictly limit at the house, or they can come up top and learn to crew.
We arrived at the docks at 4:30 and our new crew member this year, a 21 yo young man we fondly call the Dread Pirate Wesley was waiting for us. While Hubby attended the Skipper meeting where the race committee lets us know where to head out to, Wesley and Taz helped get the boat ready. Bobby no longer has Robotics and his new job is with one of our sail fleet’s sailors so he is conveniently guaranteed to be on the boat on Thursday nights again. I missed him while school was still in but Wesley caught on pretty quickly to Jon's main job of helping the sail across as needed during tacks. This week, Speedy also chose to stay out of the cabin and get the boat ready.
Moments before leaving the dock, Speedy remembered that they had not brought the bin of dishes back to the boat to be able to make dinner later. Hubby told him to hurry up and we finished running sheets and staging the headsail we thought we would be using. The final decision for that would be made in Penn Cove. In the Marina, the wind seemed light enough for our 150 genoa. When we got to Penn Cove however, the wind could be higher. A small craft warning was supposed to go into effect at 5:00. With everything basically ready to go, Hubby announced that it was time to leave and we cast off the docks. Taz began making a fuss and signing Speedy’s name frantically. “What’s up?” Then sudden clarity for both parents “We left without Speedy!” It was bound to happen eventually.
While all the rest of the fleet was filing out of the marina, we turned around and headed back to our slip to do a drive by and collect the last child. Blur and another boat told us we were going the wrong way. Ricochet laughed. Bigg Dogg’s captain called out that we get the Parent of the Year award as we passed his slip.
Speedy appeared and we hollered for him to run. Two slips away from ours, he started to walk again. “RUN!” Our boat was approaching the end of our slip. Maybe he thought we would actually pull back into it. He ran again as Hubby brought the boat past not quite close enough. I could reach the bin but we would have to make another pass for Speedy to bo- he leaped. For a split second I expected him to land in the water but he landed on the deck and I cheered. Gave him a high five. All aboard, we let him know that Taz remembered him and finished putting fenders away.
As we rounded Blowers Bluff, the call was made to use the 120. We remembered that the Spinnaker had not been re-packed after last week so I took Wesley and the rest of the crew down to demonstrate what I only know because I spent almost a year working in a sail loft. (Good experience, enjoyable work, no benefits, same wages as a McDonalds employee for skilled physically demanding labor.) Spinnaker packed, hubby cut the engine and we sailed with just the main to where the committee boat was anchored just south of Monroe Landing.
The Race Committee came on the radio to announce the course: “S, M, L, F”
A few other boats came on to ask about the location of “M”. A permanent marker in the Cove that seems to have gotten a case of wanderlust with the recent king tides. Apparently it had last been seen down near such and such pier.
The 5 minute warning sounded.
After being late to the start the last two weeks, Hubby was taking a different approach this week. We call keelboat racing our marriage therapy. A regular exercise in teamwork, communication and some healthy arguing. As the rest of the fleet raised their head sails and circled back and forth behind the start line, Hubby didn’t want to raise the headsail yet. We decided that we would stop switching who drove and who trimmed. After last weeks botched tacks when he was trimming sails (we alternate who drives by series.) I decided to offer that he just stay at the helm. I much prefer my style of releasing and pulling the sheets during tacks. Besides, he’s the one who acts as our tactician because he’s good at drawing the lines in his head up the course to decide when we need to tack. This week I would be in charge of getting the Spinnaker ready to go up when we rounded M. The Spinnaker is a new thing for us this season. Last season, our third season sailing, we were in the Windseeker fleet and had a steady streak of first places. It was getting a little boring. This year, we hopped up to the PHRF fleet where they fly spinnakers and are overall more competitive. You can count on one hand how many times we have raised a Spinnaker on Argosia. Beyond that, Hubby gained some experience delivering a boat with my loft manager last year and I received a crash course on foredeck when I crewed on Ricochet for Women at the Helm. Our spinnaker, picked up at a rummage sale is too small for our boat but will do just fine until the one we ordered arrives.
Three minutes till the start, we were the only boat without our headsail raised. “Ok. What is your plan?” I asked hubby. He isn't very fast to clue me in on these things. Considering our lack of experience compared to the rest of the fleet, my default is still to do what the other boats do. I am insanely uncomfortable waiting till the last minute to raise our sail. It feels like a tactic that will bite us in the a$$. Not enough time to trouble shoot if something goes wrong with the sail. Not enough time to swap it out for a different sail without being so insanely behind the fleet that you may as well not start in the first place. In our fourth season of racing, Hubby makes this call and if the start is blown, apologizes later so I let him even when I don't agree. See? Marriage therapy. Hands on practice with choosing your battles.
“We’ll raise at two minutes.”
“Ok.” I eyeballed the clock. Finally he called for the sail to go up and I pulled as fast as I could. Dread Pirate Wesley ensured that the hanks didn't get caught on the way up. Bobby, Speedy and Taz perched on the starboard rail while I secured the genoa halyard and trimmed the sail a few more inches.
We were right in with the rest of the fleet. Just a little closer to Lemonade and we could give them a complimentary hull cleaning or pass them a beverage. On our port side, Richochet, the other San Juan 28 boat in our fleet. If there is one boat we want to beat, it is Ricochet, our sister boat.
The final horn blasted and we were across the line. Excellent start. The wind was good at about 10 knots. Taz being up top was new. As the fleet spread out after leaving the start line and the boat heeled further, lifting the starboard rail high above the water, he started crying to go home. He wanted to hug Bobby, uncertain about the boat heeling. Bobby didn't want to be hugged. With the sail trimmed, I climbed up to the high side and sat next to him. He didn’t want to go down below with Bean and Mookie who were reading and napping. After a little assurance and letting him hug on me, he decided it’s a pretty decent ride after all. Tacking with him up top is a little tricky because he is slow to follow directions. After the third tack and a threat that if he wouldn't listen he would go below, he finally came back and sat where I ask him to when we are getting ready to tack.
We couldn't find M. We knew where it should be, southeastish of the Rolling Hills, Glenn Cairn dock, but it wasn't there. The sun, of course was shining on the water where M might be. Vertigo, Juan Solo and Chosen Juan were ahead of us tacking as if they might be closing in on the mark. It felt like we were on an egg hunt searching for a 2 foot ball in the water. Scanning between tacks. Where the heck was the mark?
Finally, Hubby spotted it. Two more tacks till we round it. I had already adjusted the Spinnaker sheets to how I want them instead of how Hubby likes them (the decision for him to drive the entire race was literally made while I waited to raise the headsail) With tasks already assigned for rounding, I let Speedy know it would be time to retrieve the Spinnaker from below after the next tack and secure it to the lifelines.
Speedy retrieved the Spinnaker. With the sails trimmed, I went forward to get the sail ready to raise. Eventually, this will be their job so I can stay back and handle the sheets during the process. For now, Bobby would help with sheets in the cockpit as we rounded the mark. Hubby would raise the Spinnaker while steering. Speedy and Wesley would connect the whisker pole to the top lift and guy while I secured the sheets and halyard to the spinnaker.
Spinnaker up, Headsail down. Well, almost in that order. Hubby still doesn’t trust what I learned when I crewed on Ricochet for Women at the Helm last year. Spinnaker not quite up and the headsail is coming down early. Oh well, the Spinnaker went up and filled, Wesley rolled the headsail forward to clear the deck and proclaimed that raising the spinnaker was much easier this week than last week (when hubby was in charge of the foredeck.)
The spinnaker is finnicky… We may need to switch drivers on the downwind leg. Hubby is better at adjusting the spin sheets and for whatever reason, would not release the lazy sheet to me. Conversations to have in our post-race recap. Let me trim the spinnaker while you drive, or hand over the helm while you trim the spinnaker. To our left, Soujourn (windseeker fleet) pulled ahead of us as they and Piper entered the river of current near the shore. A trick we usually use when we aren't concerned about raising and lowering sails as we round the mark. Bigg Dogg passed us on their way back to the finish line and a healthy dose of dirty air sent our Spinnaker into a tissy fit. It was about to fill up again when POOF! The spin halyard released after the twisting of the sail around the forestay released tension from the shackle and the sail came floating down and into the water in front of the boat.
Wesley and Speedy rushed forward to pull it out. We wrestled it into its bag. Blur passed us on his way back to the finish line and told us the sail was supposed to be in the air, not the water. (expletive) The headsail should have been going back up, but all felt like pandemonium and I was really certain we had already lost the race. DFL (Dead F****** Last) when we would really like to finish ahead of Ricochet in 8th or 7th place out of the ten boats racing. In road racing, when you are slow, you race against yourself. In keelboat racing, when you are still learning the lines, you aim for anything but DFL and work your way up from there.
Spinnaker put away. Whisker pole secured. Raise the headsail and we continued to the "L" mark. I was still on the bow while Bobby was in the cockpit trimming as we rounded the mark. Wesley, hypervigilant about what I call the triangle of death where the headsail sheets connect to the sail, called for me as we prepared to tack. Basically, you need to be all the way inside or outside and well forward of the triangle during a tack. One leg outside the triangle will pull you off the boat as the sail comes across and the lazy sheet becomes the working sheet. If you are for some reason tangled in the lazy sheet...just don't get tangled in the sheets. Ever. I assured him I am was clear of the sheets and laid down for the sail to pass over me. Tack complete, Hubby was very dissatisfied by the lack of haste Bobby still demonstrates at trimming the sails and called for me to return. With us already in DFL, I figured it was no loss to let Bobby practice trimming but came back anyway. During the next tack, I looked over and whadayaknow, Gadzooks is behind us! I let hubby know and he argued that they couldn't be. They must have finished the race already and were just playing around. I was certain that they were still in the race and we were not DFL.
We crossed the finish line and started to bear off the wind when Hubby realized Lemonade was coming in behind us as well (windseeker fleet). Quick tack to get out of their way as they cross the line. An apology as we headed down wind on our way past them. They didn’t have to adjust course, but before our hasty tack to get clear of the finish line for them, they may have wondered what the heck we were doing getting in their way after our finish.
We had wind to sail all the way back to Oak Harbor. Bean heated chili for everyone which we finished before rounding Blower's bluff. While waiting for the chili, I taught the Dread Pirate Wesley who cannot tie a knot, how to tie a bowline. Hubby still stubbornly lives by tying a lot if you can’t tie a knot. He gets away with it because I love him. I explained to Wesley that this is the knot you tie around yourself if anyone ever throws you a line while you are in the water because it will hold tight but can be undone by "breaking its back" no matter how much load it has carried. It is also the knot to use when attaching sheets to sails. We have soft shackles on the headsail, but not on the spinnaker. This is the knot he untied when we put the Spinnaker away.
An impromptu race against Ricochet down the channel into the harbor. A little guitar playing. The boys flaked the mainsail… mostly. I had to put my guitar up and help. Fenders down. Put away the sheets. Docking lines back on the boat.
Put the sails away, bring the bin of dishes back to the van to wash at home.
Head to the club to hear the results of the race and do a little socializing. We placed 9th out of ten boats, beating Gadzooks and 2 minutes behind Ricochet.
All in all, a good night of racing.