Sunday, May 4, 2008

Brick nic

Saturday I volunteered at the Tri club brick-nic out at the Columbia course.

Brick: a workout combining two out of three successive events in a triathlon. The most common is a bike-run brick, although some (crazy) people practice aquabricks too. This involves a long bike ride followed by usually a shorter run. So named because your legs feel like bricks for the first couple miles you run.
Brick-nic: Brick workout followed by a picnic. Because you are a really cheap date once you've just biked and run 46 miles. And at that point you can pretty much eat anything you want.

I didn't go to anywhere nearly as exotic as Wildflower, but getting to Ellicott City was an adventure. Since I'm still broken, I signed up to watch gear at the Columbia brick-nic. I didn't realize I had also signed up to be Mom for a day. The signature Columbia Triathlon is held at Centennial Park, which is confusingly NOT in Columbia, but Ellicott City. The park was pretty busy with a fishing competition, some sort of pink laden festival, and a NAMI walk for mental illness. The walk ended up using the same path as the run for a while which sort of sucked for everyone involved. I'm sure the NAMI people were wondering if they were hallucinating or if they were being invaded by a bunch of spandex wearing aliens, and the triathletes couldn't fathom anyone else having the right to use the lake path. Kind of cross purposes for all involved. Hopefully the NAMI people are okay with us since we gave them millions of leftover cupcakes, donuts, etc.

On paper, I had signed up to watch over everyone's three thousand dollar bikes while they ran. I had thought I would study for the GRE while I was there but no such luck.

The GDP of a small country

It was 75 and sunny when I left Vienna. When I got to Centennial Park, it was maybe 50 degrees. Thank you Will for bringing coffee and being kind enough to share it with me. And yes, fellow mad scientist, I am drinking out of a periodic table of elements mug.

To become a volunteer saint you must perform three momacles. Since it was unexpectedly so cold, my first momacle was to procure clothes for everyone so they wouldn't freeze on the bike. This is why I keep so much stuff in my car. You never know when you'll need a trainer mat and a "What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about?" sweatshirt.

My next momacle was to herd triathlete cats into putting their 3K bikes and their transition bags along the wall, not next to the bikes. Also, convincing everyone to check in and out with the other volunteers. I channeled Jopoppa on this one, "It's your body they'll find on the edge of the road ... Check in so we know if you died ..." I got a smart ass "Any more rules and regulations?" from one tri guy. "Yeah, you can call me ma'am."

Because I said so.

My third saintly momacle was to patch up a friend who lost an argument with his pedal leaving him looking like he'd tangled with a wolverine. Back to the mom-mobile for the first aid kit. Cleaned it out, put some neosporin on it, used about a million non-Hello Kitty bandaids. All while "Mr. Army I've been to Ranger school" flinched from the sight of his own blood. Someone asked how old my kids were. I do not have children, I only have adult roommates and triathletes and occasionally engineers.

My reward for achieving Tri canon status? Winning a Podium Quest hydration system which I tossed back into the volunteer reward ether since I don't have aerobars, and I'm sure someone else would give it the home it deserves.

Around 2pm, everyone had come back in and was eating so I took off for a jog around the lake. It had warmed up a LOT by then, and I spent most of the loop wondering why: 1. didn't I run when it was 50 degrees out, 2. why am I running a hilly course when my races are both pancake flat, 3. didn't I eat something besides a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal all day?
But it was a beautiful day, and fun to explore a new place.

Later, after everything had been cleaned up, I suckered a friend into coming down from Baltimore and going paddleboating on the lake with me. K might be the only person I know who is more accident prone than I am. Somehow, he almost fell into the lake while getting into the moored paddleboat. It was a lot of fun and surprisingly tiring. Then, we took a walk around the lake, and checked out the cherrybration. We saw a living statue of Joan of Arc which I wish I had photographed, scored a free Ryka dry-tech t-shirt from the Iron Girl booth, and replacement bandaids from the Johns Hopkins booth. All in all a good day.

Finally I am not lost.

Penalty tent for drafters

One loop = one brownie

Hey baby, I'm a clydesdale

That's me in the middle.

Credit to Jeanne for the photos. See her blog for an amusing take on the participant's view.


Rainmaker said...


Glad you had what looked to be a good day all around. I wish I could have been there!

Funny about the Podium Quest item - I just ordered one a few minutes ago online.

jeanne said...

hey thanks for the shoutout. i loved your momacles report. good stuff!