Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cheap Date....

Ok...  so I'm going to preface this with an admission.  Today started with a crappy swim workout, had some awesome wildlife sightings in the middle and ended with me saying...   fuck it.  I'm on vacation and I'm going to have one "food amnesty" night.  So my friend Andrew and I stopped for two beers on a rooftop deck overlooking the harbor, and then went to dinner where we started with fried coconut prawns and ended with the alfredo pasta with chicken and insanely fatty cheesy sauce with a glass of wine with that.  Then we headed across the street for this....

A two scoop "rabbit tracks" (which is basically all kinds of chocolate and carmel and badness in vanilla ice cream in a cup with a waffle cone on top.  I've easily eaten 4000 calories today... and maybe burned about 300 if I'm lucky.  And I don't care.  Well I do... but the point is sometimes you just have to say screw it and reward yourself.  I've gotten down to 138lbs.  Which is as low as I should ever go.  Thats my ideal race weight.  So if I put on a pound or two here in SJI it wont be hard to shave it right back off when I get home.  But I'll bet I have those shaved before I even get back.  This is also when I should admit that I'm a cheap date.  And currently after a few drinks I'm quite loose lipped.  So who knows what might come out in this post.  So buckle up!

So...  the start of my day began with me driving to the pool to get my swim workout in.  Changing in the locker room and realizing I have no goggles...  so I get dressed again and get back in the truck and drive back to the house.  Still can't find my goggles so I grab the backup pair.  (See!  This is why I pack so much!)  Drive back to the pool and start my workout.  Hmmm...   I can see why these are the backup pair.  They kind of suck and they leak.  Ugh.  My swim workout today was in a word.  Crap.  I was tired, my shoulders hurt and the more I tried the more I felt like I was pushing too hard and it just wasn't going to come.  My balance and body position were way off.  I did the best I could and salvaged what I could by using a pull buoy and working on arm technique.  I doubt I managed 800 yards in total today.  Probably more like 600.  It sucked, and I was exhausted and it was the direct result of swimming three days in a row again.  When will I ever learn?  So I gave up and went home.

Then the good part of the day started.  My friends and I went for a driving tour of the island where we saw all kinds of amazing wildlife today...   starting with foxes, deer, bald eagles, and ending with my favorite...  Orcas!  Lots and lots of Orcas!  We stopped at a few different parks today to watch the pods of Orcas swimming around the western side of the island.  All of the photos below are taken from shore.  They actually get quite close.  Its amazing how beautifull these creatures are.  I love them so much.  It really does bring insane amounts of joy to my heart to see them in the wild.  I can't explain it (and certainly not in my current state of drunken sugar buzz), but they really are the world's most magestic animals.  They have a stronger sense of family than even we do, and children stay with their mothers for life except when they leave to mate.  They travel in large family units called Pods and we saw two different pods today.  All I can say further is that seeing them brings such joy to me.  I feel like a kid on Christmas morning when the first dorsal fin clears the water and you see them for the first time.  The sound of them breathing as they swim by has to be heard to be understood, but it brings such a sense of wonder and amazement to me.  So here are some pics of today's sightings.  I have a TON of Orca pics so here are just a few highlights...  these haven't been edited yet...   but its a quick look.

Here are a couple of shots of the resident fox population that lives near one of the island's beaches.

And here's a shot of a bald eagle that flew overhead while we were waiting for the Orcas to swim by.
We got really lucky today... we were in the right place at the right time.  We must have seen at least two pods of Orcas today, both with lots of individual Orcas in them.  It was very exciting and it was fun to try and catch it on camera.  Below are some of the better shots from today.  These are all taken from shore with a zoom lens.
I feel like every time I see these guys in the wild its a gift.  I've also been told I have the best luck in seeing wildlife on this island.  It all seems to show up when I do for whatever reason.  Many of the locals tell me that its tricky to spot them from shore and you have to try several times before you catch them.  Personally I've seen them from shore every single time I've gone looking for them.  Sometimes I think I have a special connection with them...   or maybe thats just the alcohol talking...

So...  after running aroung the island looking for Orcas we headed back to the house around 4pm.  Which is when I should have headed out to do an hour of strength training.  But my shoulders hurt and my hammy is a bit tight, and I'm tired.  So I took the rest of the day off.  And then as I said already I then declared a one night only vacation food amnesty.  Which I'll regret tomorrow I'm sure, but right now I'm pretty happy about it.  In fact I'm quite happy about it.

So what can I talk about that I wouldn't otherwise under different circumstances?  Hmmm....    how I want to change careers and my job around so I can train more and not have to travel all the time?  Nah... thats boring.  True... but not very entertaining.  Or perhaps I should talk about how I think I'm essentially undateable unless I can find another athlete willing to put up with my travel schedule.  I'm pretty sure theres nobody out there that is going to be willing to put up with my work travel and all my training, and all my uber healthy eating habits (tonight's amnest excluded of course).  So I had better at least find someone who understands about the training.  Although I must admit after years of "serial monogomy" as my friends have called it (going from relationship to relationship pretty much since I was 15), its nice to be single again.  Not that I've been interested in anything but training and work....   but its nice to have a bit of a break.  But I tell you...    riding the long miles here out west by myself as I train it makes me long to share it with someone.  Anyone really...   a friend, a training partner, and yes... it would be really special to share it all with someone special to me.  Even better if they were to get the same thrill I got today when watching the Orcas in their natural habitat from the shoreline.  But perhaps thats asking too much...   I dunno.  I'd still like to think its possible.  But to connect this to the work situation I wonder if its going to require a move to make it all work.  Maybe I need to move to one of those communities full of athletes where everyone gets it.  Where not drinking, and eating healthy, and training all the time is normal.  Wow...   I'm really rambling now.  I should probably stop now...     I guess I'm just having one of those days full of ups and downs.  And somehow even the super big UP of seeing the Orcas today is being a bit overshadowed by my crazy life and the price I pay to live it.  Not to worry though...   I'm find.  I'm just a bit drunkenly pensive.  Time for me to go drink lots and lots of water, head to bed, and look forward to a long slow quiet hungover run tomorrow morning where I can dream of better things on the horizon.


  1. Hi, ran into your blog...I love Washington, it's a perfect place for swimming, biking, running.
    Best wishes,

  2. Hi Cindy... I can see why you love it. I've really been enjoying training in such a beautifull place filled with so many other athletes. Its been great fun. I'm going to be sad to leave it, but fortunately for me I still have a week out here left. : )

  3. Man I wish I was there with you! Your photos are amazing!

  4. Thanks Nancy. Wish you were here too! If you stop on the side of the road for a kitten I can only imagine how you would react to all the amazing wildlife here. You'd love it!