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Triathlete Blog

Saturday in Seattle

By February 9, 2008June 9th, 2015No Comments

Saturday in Seattle. Woke up in CST (early) and decided to eat some breakfast before my long run. Of course no breakfast is complete without coffee. Luckily there is a Starbuck’s literally right across the street from my brother’s place. Not joking. Not my favorite place but will do.

At first I think it is so close I can get away with wearing my pink pajamas but then I realize that real pants would be a more socially appropriate choice. Not sure if the west coast is ready for my usual uniform. I have my americano in hand and walking back realize that I need a key to get back into the apartment building.


Ok, what to do, what to do. Stand here and wait for someone to come out. Not likely. This is Seattle, it’s a city that seems to sleep late. I don’t blame them. They never see the sun. Plan B is walking across the other street to kill time in the grocery store while I come up with Plan C. Plus the store will be warm.

In there I realize I have no Plan C, or D or even E at this point. I have no cell phone with me. I don’t know my brother’s telephone number. And I couldn’t tell you his apartment number to save my life. Come on, it’s not like we’re pen pals. I don’t mail things to him.

So I decide I will just go to the bathroom and think some more where I look less likely the creepy woman eyeing the overpriced organic cheese, bakery pastries and wines. On my way there, a young man approaches me.

“Are you going to the caucus today?”

The what? J.H.C. how about you start with a good morning before you throw out a word like that. I realize he is talking about the caucus caucus – the big one Melissa is all excited about going to (and planning to take Anabel).

“No.” I say.

“You’re not going to the caucus at 1 pm?”

Listen, I may be declared a missing person by 1 pm if I don’t figure out a way to communicate to my brother that I am not inside but I am outside in this speciality grocery store being accosted by cagey zealots like you. The answer is still NO.

He seems miffed by my lack of political passion. But right now I’ve got a passion to go long running and that will never happen if I don’t get back inside. So I stand outside the apartment building for what feels like a day. Waiting. 15 apartments. That means there is a 6.33 repeating percent chance I will get back inside. But what if each apartment has 2 people. My odds go up. I have double the chance. I think. I can’t do math right now. Not without more coffee.

Finally I devise a brilliant plan. I will throw rocks at the bedroom window. I determine which one is most likely his and then set out to find a rock. Seattle doesn’t have rocks. It just has moss. But then – wait – there it is. ONE rock. I have one chance. And even this one chance is not good when you give a triathlete a task that involves aim. I figure that underhand is the best way to go. And, wouldn’t you know – the rock hits. LOUD!

Ok, but no response. Damn it where is that rock!? Again, another throw. POW! And that’s it! A very disturbed Melissa looks out from the blinds and I wave. HELP! This is my Seattle SOS call.


I am back inside. Melissa is scared because she just read something in the police blotter about a man going around throwing rocks at people’s windows. I am that man. No I’m not. I’m just the sister that wants in. Back inside, look at the baby, talk to the baby, hold the baby, look at the baby.

Time to run.

A long run. 90 minutes! And permission to work some BIG hills. Good – around here there are many! Not a flat stretch to be found. I start running down a hill then proceed the next 90 minutes running up and down 7 major hills. Major as in 5 – 10 minutes to descend and 5 – 10 minutes to climb. That is a long hill! My heart rate is either 122 or 172. My pace is either sub 7:00 or over 11:00. And then there was this one hill – Walnut Street? – so steep I actually descended slower than I climbed. How do you descend a 100 percent grade! I swear!

I have no idea how many feet I climbed but I would guess 3000. That is what it felt like! I was so tired – and it was so windy out there too. But I will say this – the view was amazing. In one direction I would look across the sound to see the Space Needle and the Seattle skyline snug under the blanket of clouds. In the other direction, the lower elevations of Mount Rainier.

Back inside and I stretch. I play with Annabel telling her one day she will run fast. It’s in her genes. I tell Melissa that I have reason to believe if we could get Pete to put the guitar and piano down we might find a Cat 1 cyclist living inside Pete’s legs. It has to be in our genes, no?

I also tell them I have reason to believe Annabel has a freakishly high V02max. She should be tested immediately. Melissa has no idea what V02max is. I try to explain but really let’s just cut to the chase – how soon until this kid walks.

10 months?

Fine, she get’s tested at 11. Get her some shoes and get her ready. If she has an aversion to wearing a plastic mask get her over that now. I’ll call the Olympic Training Center in the Springs and tell them she’s on her way. We’ll just mail her in a box. Put her baby leggings in a bag, they’ll make great compression socks for after the test.

You see when I look at this baby I see blue eyes and blond hair and not much of me. But there’s got to be a piece of me in there somewhere – something that predisposes her to wanting to at least try to swim, bike or run. It’s got to be in her genes. I’m not sure Pete and Melissa were convinced but maybe it’s food for thought.

Speaking of food – there goes that baby eating again. I’ve never seen something so little eat so much. But then I realize – that is it. That is the part of me. She and I share the same genes. The chowbox gene.

Now Melissa, Pete and Anabel are at the caucus. Annabel is dressed in her President Poopyhead one-sy. I won’t tell you whose picture it had on it. I admire her willingess to speak what is on her mind. And her chowbox ways. Plus she’s not a very cuddly clingy baby. Nor does she require much to be entertained.

Come to think of it – she’s a lot more like me than I first realize. Now if she can play the piano like Pete, take pictures like Melissa and run hills – I’d say we better call more than the OTC. We better call the world. Tell them she’s here – the next big thing. She has arrived.