Sunday, July 29, 2012

82 and she still has it

I spent the day at the Calgary 70.3 cheering my buddy Deb and anyone else that I knew. But she's not 82, and that wasn't her race number. Sister Madonna Buder turned 82 a little while ago. Today she finished a half ironman. There were a bunch of new course records set as it was a perfect day for racing. Janelle Morrison finished 9th which is pretty amazing considering her doctors thought she'd never do another triathlon after that car crash a couple years ago.

People look at the children setting World and Olympic records and are amazed at the peak of human performance. That's all very well, and I'm happy for them and their parents. But to me the amazing thing is that an 82 year old woman completed a half ironman. That's another kind of peak human performance, and one that is a whole lot more relevant to me. In a few weeks she takes on a full Ironman. Again. All the best to her.

Deb had been a bit nervous about making the cut off times, and in the end, there was no need to have worried at all. She started the run with a huge grin, and was running really well off the bike, then 4 K later, then again with 4 K to go. I guess she hit a tough patch between there and the finish line, but I'll let her talk about it in the blog she is going to write RSN. Huge congratulations to her first half Ironman! Here she is showing off her big shiny finisher medallion/belt buckle.

Along the way I chatted with BJ (Deb's husband), Carrie, Rose, Dan, Scott, Brian, Tessa, one of the volunteers that liked my blue cowbells, and I'm sorry if I've overlooked anyone. It was a beautiful day to hang out, wander around, nibble from the Steakout truck (it was really good), and best of all, the sunscreen worked and I didn't get burnt. Bailing out of the race was totally the right decision. Even the 6 or 7 K ride to North Glenmore and back on my hybrid bike had my back complaining a bit.

I was watching people today. Interacting badly with the volunteers and racers. I seriously think that some people didn't know a race was going on. They wandered through with a puzzled look, why are all these people and barricades here? After a while the volunteers just gave up policing the cross path just before T2, even though there was still bikes coming in. And volunteers, I love them dearly, and we can't hold the races without them, but why did one of them practically haul Janelle off her bike? She was coming to a complete halt right near the line. And that geezer on the path, I don't know what he was thinking, if he was thinking, wandering by totally oblivious. Neither BJ or I will ever know why a guy in black long pants, a long sleeved white shirt, with dress shoes, was pushing a bike that had a yellow ironing board lashed to it. I don't know if he was wearing a tie, but wouldn't have been surprised.

In other news, I was tagged the other day by The Blonde. I know her real name of course, but I like the air of mystery, which is augmented with the photos of her wearing sunglasses in exotic foreign locations. And this cool inspirational blogger award.

I've gone and read my fellow taggee blogs, and have enjoyed them enough to bookmark them so I can visit again.

So, 7 things about me. Which are not one of the 44 things I mentioned in an earlier tagging thing. Hmmm.

  1. For years I railed against Twitter. I figured if I had anything to say, it would take more than 140 characters. I didn't get the point of it at all. Eventually I came round. Some of my more observant readers will have noticed the follow me button just below my big picture. What will you find there? Notice that I've blogged, because I know you are all burning to read the newest update hot off the press. Occasionally something about where I am or what I'm doing. Sometimes it's babble with my buddies. Why not follow and experience it for yourself? As the great sage once said, "this pencil has an eraser."
  2. I am still helpless in the grip of cookie lust. Which has been triggered anew by my wife baking while I was off at the race.
  3. We have a small suburban lot and I cut it with a reel mower. I feel very smug and superior to my neighbours that still use gas mowers. The guy next door gave me shit yesterday that I wasn't digging the weeds out of the flower beds, only pulling them. After seeing Sue's back yard, I'm tempted to rent a bobcat and strip out all the grass, then put in gravel and nice rocks. 
  4. At work I have to wave a card key at a turnstile to get to the elevators, wave it at the elevator to make it go to my floor, and wave it at a door to get onto my floor, or go through the stairs between floors. This seems overkill to me. I'm waiting for someone to get a commercially acceptable app that lets various entities load things onto my phone with my permission. A code that opens doors and elevators, for example. That tells me where the cheese is this week in Costco. A drivers license that interacts with the car I'm driving, and not that I'd ever need it, but makes certain drivers pass a test before it lets them start the car. Encrypted medical history. Other stuff. We're almost there.
  5. I've done 6 Half Ironman races and one full distance. All were slow even by age group standards. That's fine. Sometimes the view from the back of the pack is superb, even if it does disappear quickly. Today was supposed to be the 7th half. The more I think about it, the more I think I'm only ever going to do the one Ironman. There are other things I think I want to try. Not skydiving or bungee jumping. Stay tuned.
  6. Yesterday I watched season 5 of Canada's worst driver, on my iPad. I had been surfing videos and found the first one. I was horrified, and it was like a train wreck. I couldn't look away. In the end I disagreed with their choice, in that their Worst Driver was not actually a driver. She was a pouty child. This is why I want to banish the words "car accident" from the English language. I still think that we need driving simulators, and everybody goes through one when it comes time to renew their license. For the first 10 years (we are on a 5 year license cycle here) the test should be so hard that 10% of the people fail, and lose their license on the spot. Given what I see on my commute, and I don't even take Deerfoot or Blackfoot anymore, that's about the number of drivers that should be removed from the road for the safety of the rest of us.
  7. I am partial to big orange cats. My current one, Curtis, is 38 inches long. I measured. Yes, I liked the Engineers Guide to Cats. Why do you ask?
Now comes the hard part, finding 7 other bloggers to tag. Last time I picked the people off the top of my blogroll. There were complaints. So. You. You. You. You. You. You. And You, over there, hiding behind your husband. There, that was easy. What, you want links? Sheesh.

The Mama Runs: I've known her for quite a few years now, and was thrilled when she took up running. We've had a couple runs so far and will be doing more. I'm still working on getting her, and her husband into the pool. I will happily give lessons if we can work out a time. They are already on their bikes. She would be thrilled if you took out your wallet right now and signed the organ donor card. Us tall people have to stick together.

Deb Tris: I Like following blogs of people new to triathlon. It wasn't so long ago I was where Deb is. Then ran with her and SG one day, and had a blast. Us tall people have to stick together. 

luckytiff: I think I started reading because she works shift work and mentioned it on in one blog. Which I once did, though I didn't blog about it then. So I commented. Then kept coming back. She just completed her first Half Ironman in Sylvan Lake a week ago. I don't know how tall she is.

Seriously??... Reeeally?... Seriously?: Some of you have clued in that I have an odd sense of humour. So does she. I can't describe it. You'll have to see for yourselves. I don't know how tall she is.

Shut Up and Run: Beth hardly needs the publicity, but I figure this gives her a chance to show the blogger love to a few of her many, MANY readers. Some of whom come to read my blog afterward, which pleases me ever so much. Thank you, feel free to leave comments guys. Beth is not a tall person.

Does this make my blog look fat?: Leauxra is another odd sense of humour, and you'll have to see for yourself. I don't know how tall she is.

Climbing those hills...: Another new triathlete. Even though I know a great many engineer jokes (I've worked with lots of them over the years) I would never tell one here. Right now. Unless you ask real nice. It's fun to watch people progress through old barriers. I don't think she is tall, but photos can be deceiving. 

And that's seven!

Just for fun, here's the view from the Southland LRT station Friday evening, looking south, and east. These are not dressed up in Snapseed. It really was pretty dramatic. 


  1. Sorry to hear that your back was causing you issues and you weren't able to race today. Better to miss out on a race then hurt yourself further. I was volunteering at one of the aid stations on the run course and it was amazing to see the athletes out there today. I saw Deb twice, and she looked great! I also saw that guy with the ironing board on his strange. We had some really rude comments from cyclists when we asked them to move over as runners were coming. Not cool people!

  2. I finally got in the water for the first time in... oh... 20 years this week and did some laps. When I say "did some laps" I mostly flailed around and sucked in water, but at least I stayed in my lane. Boyfriend wants us to do a sprint triathlon next summer. A half ironman seems like a long ways off to me... Maybe when I am 82 I will be ready.

    And thank you for the award. It really made me smile.

  3. Deb looks awesome in the pic - so happy for her! Glad you were able to go cheer her on, with food trucks too! I would have loved to,'s a long story. One of these days when the 3 of us go for a run or a bike ride, we can chat.

    Looks like they oughta have police there as well, so that pple take the race a little more seriously and stop getting in the way.

  4. I started at one point to walk out to that aid station, then got waylaid by a buddy in a medical cart. We chatted for a while, then I realized the aid station was further than I though (those darn curves keep going!) and I headed back to get some more water and wait for Deb. We'll meet up sooner or later.

  5. I started at one point to walk out to that aid station, then got waylaid by a buddy in a medical cart. We chatted for a while, then I realized the aid station was further than I though (those darn curves keep going!) and I headed back to get some more water and wait for Deb. We'll meet up sooner or later. (Grrr, disqus is giving me a hard time here.)

  6. They did have police near the beginning of the race. Then once they were assured it wasn't a pre-mob planning to form up and ride around the reservoir to storm Harper's office or something, they weren't interested anymore and went away.

  7. Sounds like a great day of spectating and cheering!! Glad your feel comfortable with your decision to DNS. It is a tough one to make, but you obviously felt it was the right call.

    Sister Madonna is so inspiring, eh? I remember seeing her race when I was doing the Lake Stevens 70.3. She's a total rock star!

  8. it was fun! I only wish I'd known more people racing. I missed my buddy Gord entirely, and several other buddies did like me. I watched her finish IMC in 2009 with a few minutes left on the clock. The crowd was going absolutely bananas. I'll be watching your times this year, of course, but I'll be rooting for the Iron Nun as well.

  9. I read this and clicked on the cat video, and lo and behold I ended up stuck on Youtube watching cat videos for over an hour. I wish I was kidding. OH, internet addiction.

    I appreciate the tagging of yours truly. I take it as a compliment that I am so complex that I can't truly be described... just experienced via blog. ;-)

    Will thank ye in my next post.

    Also enjoying your term 'cookie lust'. :)


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