24th May 2016
It’s been an eventful week. I’m not sure why I attract trouble, but I’m like a magnet. You’re lucky I don’t have time to write it all down, because you’d be bombarded with a constant stream of disaster posts from me… (Actually, that’s a lie. I have ALL the time to write it down, but this triathloning is tiring, so I can’t lift my arms to the keyboard and sync my brain – not all at the same time. Not regularly). Besides, I’ve been busily engaged in losing friends this week. It takes a lot of effort!
And besides, I’d hate you to miss out on the madness, so I’m putting it all into a weekly wrap. Apart from the bits I told you already. You can catch up on my other adventures from earlier in the week here, here, here AND here.
So, I have been tribaby-training all week AND weekend. Friday was Funky – i.e. cycling, and that was my first experience of near death by turkey.
I was happily cycling back towards coffee as part of our merry little bunch of beginners, when a bush turkey ran out and tried to kill me.
I thought it was a guineafowl, but they don’t seem to be a thing in Australia. (Personally, I think it’s like emus and ostriches – identical creatures with different names. Aussies just will NOT be dictated to on the naming of fowl).
Anyway, bush turkey, guineafowl – either way – it was a plumed creature of minuscule brain-age.
And having got in my path, it wanted to race. In a zig zag pattern. Directly in front of my bike wheel.
My screams of alarm did nothing to persuade it to choose a side. Nope. It just kept zig zagging in the hope that I would fall. Unfortunately for the fowl, I was pre-cleat. Hah. That was a day I managed to stay upright.
Eventually, the turkey peeled off to the side, bemused by the laughter ringing in its ears. Funky Friday had just become a Funny Friday Freak show, courtesy of yours truly.
On Saturday, I gave parkrun volunteering a shot and loved it. Having sent strict instructions to the organisers that I had to be issued a job even I couldn’t screw up, I was on token sorting. OMG. Heaven. The tiny little OCD bit of my brain that slumbers most of the time, woke up and sang it’s happy song.
Gather up some tokens, put them back in order. Gather up more tokens, put them in order. Check all the tokens are in order. Bliss.
Plus, you get to be a bollard monitor. And that is awesome, because it means you high-five a large proportion of the 400+ happy runners surging towards Goodwill Bridge. I thoroughly recommend volunteering at a parkrun near you!
As if that weren’t enough excitement for a Saturday, I’d also agreed to go swimming with Katrina. We left post-parkrun-Cowching at the same time, and agreed to meet across town at Carindale pool. Brisbanites might be wondering “where is Carindale pool?” And that was my first mistake. Because Carindale pool is not generally known as Carindale pool.
My next mistake was forgetting to set Google Maps to navigate BEFORE setting off. Any police officials – look away now. What happened next was entirely SAFE, because EVERY red light in Brisbane was against me, so I was always paying attention to the road. But I was having to be quick, programming in the destination. Because I wouldn’t want to be illegal.
So, I jammed in “Carindale Pool” and pressed start and followed the directions from the handy map app.
It did strike me that the directions were taking me a more scenic route than I would have expected. There is the check box for “avoid tolls”, and it was as if I’d checked the box “do not use any major roads”. Anyway, I followed it into a car park, looked around and thought “these shops don’t look much like a leisure centre”. Just as my phone rang. It was Katrina wondering where I was. Not far away, as it turned out. But not there, either.
Anyway, we agreed to meet IN the pool.
So I re-programmed the phone. This time, I took it off “cycle”, because that hadn’t been a helpful setting to getting anywhere in a car.
And I finally made it to the Clem Jones Swimming Centre…. I tried to ring to announce the great news. Only my phone had died from the effort of navigating me correctly…
I changed in the flash of an eye, and made my way to the pool. Dammit – another 50m affair. I looked up and down the lanes for Katrina. No sign. Odd, I thought. Because I knew I really was in right place.
There was a lady a couple of lanes over who appeared to be looking for someone. You don’t look much like Katrina, I thought. Can someone look entirely different in a swim cap and goggles? Do I look entirely different in a swim cap and goggles? I’m wearing my snail hat. I sort of stand out. But only if you’ve read the blog, I guess…
Oh well, I thought. Maybe she’s at the far end of a lane, and I just can’t make her out. I’m not getting any younger, after all.
So, pull buoy firmly wedged between thighs – I didn’t want to add drowning to the day’s misadventures – I pootled off to the far end. And came back again.
I looked about. The lady a couple of lanes over was still looking for someone. But she still didn’t look like Katrina. I bobbed the snail hat to make sure she had a good view of it.
I did a few laps.
Bobbed the snail hat at the lady. Still nothing.
Did a few more laps. The lady missing-a-someone got out of the pool. And still didn’t look like Katrina. I swam some more.
There is another pool at the Carindale complex. A covered 25m pool. I had seen umpteen kids heading that way, so I was dubious, but I decided to get out of the water and check if I could see Katrina through the window.
I peered through the steamy glass, but all I could make out where about 1,000 kids having lessons. No adults, unless instructing the kids on the correct flailing technique.
I went back to my lane.
HORROR! Someone, in the few moments I had been peering through windows like Wee-Willy-Winky, had got in MY lane.
In true European style, I had marked my territory. There was my water bottle, my pull buoy and a whole host of other essential swim
toys aids heaped up at the end of MY lane. So it was pretty obvious that it was already in use. Despite the lack of a body. (Lack of a body is a good thing, surely. It shows I hadn’t drowned. Today, at least.)
I bobbed my snail hat to demonstrate what the interloper was dealing with. Slow swimmer approaching!
However, she swam on undeterred. I got back in and continued the ungainly dragging of my personage through the water. And still she swam on, undeterred!
I’d given up all hope of seeing Katrina, but just was I was crawling back to the end of the lane, I saw her walking past towards the changing rooms. What trickery was this? She was most certainly not in this or the indoor pool.
Anyways, it turns out there is a THIRD pool, tucked behind the indoor pool. But I’d omitted to notice that…. OOPS!
But the weekend was still young.
Even if I weren’t game to give it ALL a try in the pursuit of triathlon, my little band of chica amigos at the club are a bunch of enablers.
I’d seen a bike ride advertised for Sunday. A 25km and a 40km ladies only ride from Pier to Point. Our Funky Friday route is about 20km, so the shorter route didn’t appeal. I wanted a challenge! But the longer ride stipulated riders must maintain an average pace of 20 – 25kmh. I wasn’t sure I could do that.
Between Laura and Mel, though, they convinced me I’d be fine. So I signed up.
To be fair, the ride itself passed largely without incident. Apart from I completely lost Laura. I looked round one minute, and she was right behind me, the next time I glanced back, the road was completely empty. She had GONE!
Being the kind, concerned soul that I am, I kept riding.
In my defence, we were approaching the 20km point. And I was fairly certain that halfway signified a stop and a regrouping point.
I kept going round corners, thinking the rest of the group will have stopped up ahead and I’ll be able to wait for Laura and the others to get back to us. But no. Each corner I turned, I could see a couple of ladies ahead of me and another sign pointing in the direction we needed to continue.
It took me more than 5km to come to terms with the full horror that there wasn’t a stopping point!
To lose one buddy in a week is unfortunate, but to lose 2 is downright careless…
Anyhow, there had been no falling or unfortunate incident. And we all caught back up – at the end!?! And there was free coffee, so all was well.
AND THEN – oh yes – there’s more – then there was a kick bike.
Now, before Sunday, I had never heard of a kick bike, let alone seen one. But the lovely Jane had ridden the whole 40km on one, and had the misfortune of being in conversation with one of the chicks on bikes I was standing beside.
“WHAT’S THAT?” I squealed – obviously quietly and demurely…
“Erm, a kick bike. Do you want to try it?”
“Yes” had flown out of my mouth well before my brain had the chance to engage and stop it.
So, after some quick instruction which made it look very easy, I bounded off amongst the unsuspecting riders trying to regroup and chat and drink their coffee. It isn’t as easy as Jane made it appear. My shoes kept sticking to the foot plate, so I couldn’t swap feet as elegantly as I’d been shown. But it was a lot of fun. I made good use of the brakes… And I don’t think I knocked, bumped or otherwise caused (too much) disturbance to the dismounted bystanders.
So, that was how my week wrapped up. How was yours?