Friday, April 22, 2011

Water, Water, Everywhere!

When it comes to sports swimming is my number one, which means I am very in tuned with water.  As I have said previously I find water relaxing.  I have downloaded ocean waves to my iPod and love sitting by the ocean (without the screaming children, although at times they have their place too) and just watch and listen.

As someone who participates in open water swims and triathlons I am particularly concerned about the lakes and oceans around me that I swim in Centennial Lake and the Chesapeake Bay to name a couple.  I went to Ocean City for my spring break and while it is the off season, that is the time that really shows what our beaches look like.  It is the undisturbed, what naturally washes up and isn't quickly whisked away so no one sees it.  It is the black, oily sand and the weird foam that shouldn't be there.  The Atlantic is getting somewhat, slowly better. I can now sometimes see my feet, when I was younger that never happened and I was mesmerized the first time we went to Florida and I could see my body in the water like it was a pool.

All of this brings me to my community because what we dispose of no matter how hard we try ends up somehow making it into these local bodies of water.  I have lived in Howard County my whole life.  When I was in 5th grade, I believe, we got curb side recycling and I was ecstatic.  Recycling was still pretty new at the time and we worked hard to sort our recycling and fill up that little blue bin.  I still live in Howard County, just on the other side and sometimes neglected side of 95, and WE DON'T HAVE RECYCLING! ( hocoblogs@@@ )

Wait what's that you say you live in Hoco and don't have recycling?  But I thought everyone had recycling because our taxes pay for it.

You know I thought the same thing and I don't pretend to know the ins and outs and why my neighborhood doesn't have recycling, its some sort of money thing but I feel like I am probably paying for it and not getting it.  The hubby and I still recycle, we just have to drop it off places but I know my neighbors are not doing that.  They have trash bins overflowing (and we have the really big ones) with cardboard and other materials that could be recycled.  It frustrates me every trash day to see so much crap heading for the landfill.  We put out trash about once a month. I know we don't have kids and apparently they generate a lot of trash, but we do have to drop off our recycling at least once a week.  I think about all that garbage heading for the landfill and some of it will blow off the truck and not make it there increasing the chances that it is going to make it into the lakes and bay that I swim in.  I was originally going to take pictures of my neighborhood houses with their mountains of trash but thought I might make a few enemies that way so instead I am making a plea to whomever decided my neighborhood wasn't worthy of recycling to reconsider.  I care about my water and my environment.

Former Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders gives her feelings on the non-chlorinated variety of water.

From the sound of it our local landfill is working to reuse and is shipping some of our trash elsewhere, to Virginia, where I have also been known to swim open water.

Are there any other neighborhoods out there not recycling? If so why?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Aero this

So last year's tri season didn't end as fabulously as I would have liked and I made some resolves to spin more this winter and ride my bike on the indoor trainer. I added aero bars for comfort on the trainer (and really for reading!)  I ended up just watching Sherlock Holmes and other TV shows while biking but I digress.  Aero bars are an alternate set of handle bars which as the name implies makes you more aerodynamic.  Some say its more comfortable...nothing on a bike seat is comfortable.

On Thursday we decided it was time to take the bikes out for the new season.  We have Orlando 70.3 coming up very quickly and really need to get ready for the 56 miles coming up.  We wanted to get in a ride before taking the bikes into the shop so we could tell them what to fix and such.  Over the winter we bought a Honda Pilot for lugging our bikes around and the hubby engineered up a way to keep them upright and stable.

Outfitted in Christmas presents a new bike top from Mo and arm warmers from Erinn I was ready to go!  We decided to do the BWI bike path which is a little over 10 miles around, that way if there was anything significantly wrong with the bikes we weren't too far away from the car and if they were good we could always do another loop.  The only downside to this loop is the stopping and starting to cross streets but there were a few flat parts with grass on each side for me to try out my new aeros.  I have horrible balance! My Wii Fit asks me if I trip a lot and insults my balance.  I asked the guy in the bike shop for the aero bars that would make me the sturdiest, he laughed at me...It took me a few flats to get up the courage to put my right arm then my left into the position.  I had a lot of falls when I first got my clip in peddles and I was prepared for more falling today.  Once in position I wobbled! And back on the regular handlebars I went but I didn't fall!  I tried this a few times each time getting slightly straighter and heading less for the grassy areas.  Towards the end of our ride I even went around a couple corners (wide ones).  Could I do this in a race?  Well if I am at the very back again with no one for miles than probably but if it is congested than no because I would definitely cause a domino falling of bikes for sure!  Everyone talks about how much easier it is to ride in the aero position, how much faster they are, and how much less energy they yea no.  In our 20 mile bike ride probably less than a mile total with all my little snippets of aero riding together...oh least I stayed upright!
showing off the new shirt and arm warmers

So after dropping off the bikes we headed to Luna Bella ( hocofood@@@) in the Hickory Ridge Village Center.  We hadn't been there since I lived on that side of Hoco so it was time to visit.  I got an awesome salmon dish and the hubby got some cheesy pizza.  I order dessert, a cannoli.  Usually I am safe from him eating my dessert with the cannoli as he isn't a huge fan of ricotta...but not today, I had to share.  I  think we will definitely be back to Luna Bella sooner rather than later!  3 years was way too long to wait, it was quite yummy.

Salmon Balsomico with wilted greens and risotto! yummers 

yup that second fork was definitely used

Overall a productive day but definitely need to get out on the bikes more!