1 August, 2013 I get by with a little help from my friends
This week begins “official” training for B2B2013. B2B, a.k.a. “Beach 2 Battleship” is the 140.6 mile (“Iron Distance”) triathlon I do each autumn in Wilmington, NC. This is my sixth consecutive year racing in Wilmington, and I completed that distance each of the five years before that. Three times in Durham and twice in Maryland. Although it’s referred to as a “race,” for me it’s more accurately described as a moving meditation. Just like my training. There is no stress or anxiety involved, only constant forward motion. For slightly over fourteen hours (my fastest year) or just under sixteen hours (my slowest year). Now that training time is here, I’m excited. I love my annual ritual. I’ve done shorter distance triathlons since 1987, but Iron Distance is by far my favorite. If you’re slow and stubborn (I’m slow and stubborn) it’s a very rewarding experience.
This year, as I do more every year, I am enlisting my friends to help with training and, most important, motivation. An early start is crucial, and my friend David helps with that. He’s an early riser and we hang out early three mornings a week. So I can get to the pool later! My friend Ethan is an avid bike rider and he’s training for the Anthem Moonlight Ride in a few weeks. So I’m doing my first training rides with him! I have two short “runs” early in the week so I incorporate my canine friends Roux (thanks Alex!) and Lucy (thanks Lee and Kara and Hanna and Nora and Owen!) and of course Mackey and Turner to help with that. One longer (1.5 hr) solo run and I’m off to a great start – with a little help from my friends!
I have a few pictures from before the last post that I didn’t use, plus a couple of new ones. Most Richmond summers by August things are brown and dry but we’ve gotten lots of rain this year and it’s colorful and bright.
I got a nice looking picture of a pollen-covered bee in my backyard in late June:
And a nice gar at the river:
This was still late June; I’ve shown a few of these to friends already. There was a nice honeysuckle with a bug:
And a beautiful morning glory, also with a bug:
The gar and the honeysuckle (with bug) and the morning glory (with bug) were all the same morning as this, a huge raft of water striders (more bugs!):
In July this delicate gladiola bloomed in our dog-pummeled backyard:
I’ve been trying to get a good picture of a Queen Anne’s Lace (a.k.a. Wild Carrot); this one (the picture, not the plant) is adequate but not superb. I’ve never eaten one but next summer I may try. I’m reading up on how to identify them. They’re all over the place. You have to get young ones early in the year for them to taste any good. This one’s okay:
Evie’s birthday was in July! I’m a widely recognized terrible-present-chooser so we went out to eat four days in a row. Thursday we went to Fresca on Addison, a regular stop on our dining-out-route. Because it’s close and cheap and delicious. And the people who work there are superb. And they have vegan cupcakes that are so delicious I become a desert-vegan while I’m there. How they make frosting that phenomenal without butter is beyond me but wow. The next night it was Lemon Cuisine of India, another favorite. The food is superb there, and very reasonable, and every employee is excellent. Saturday we splurged and went to Lemaire at the Jefferson; if you’re going to splurge, Lemaire is the place to do it. I’m on a strict once-every-other-decade schedule there; I’m already breathlessly anticipating my next visit around 2025, give or take. We took a shot in the dark for our final day of celebration and both went for the first time to Portico in Goochland. We had brunch and of the four meals it may have been my favorite. It could be because I’m a brunch-lover from way back, or it could have been the incredible meal, or the outstanding service, or the incomparable location – take your pick. I can hardly wait to go back. I have a picture or two from each event.
Thursday, July 18, Fresca:
Friday (actual birthday), Lemon:
And we concluded with Sunday brunch at Portico:
I slipped and missed a July blog post! I’ll do three in August. Until my next one, enjoy,
PS An addendum. Some of you may recall that Ivory and I did a lot of Animal Assisted Therapy at VCU’s MCV and a few other places. Thanks to our friend Barbara, Mackey and Turner have had an opportunity. They bring a different sensibility to the experience, but one thing transcends – the happiness of the person getting the visit. I’ve spent a lot of hours doing this, and it’s win/win/win – the person getting the visit wins, the dogs win and I win. Here’s something a person gave me years ago when we were visiting a lot: