Multitasking, Planking, and other Useless Activities

I haven’t posted in a week. Clearly, nothing has been going on that’s worth blogging about. I worked a lot last week and believe me, no-one wants to hear about that. I also multitasked a lot, like when I spent an hour of a 4pm conference call on Thursday driving my oldest son to swim practice and driving home. Actually, I’m not sure that was multitasking because I was unable to take any notes and then had to spend an hour on Friday having a co-worker catch me up on everything I missed. Which was pretty much everything.

I biked, in the basement, because it was raining, while watching The Bourne Identity. I use my cadence sensor when I bike indoors because I have a habit of slowing down when I really get into a movie, or, in this case, really into Matt Damon.

Today, I finally did something worthy of a mention on the blog. I biked to DC (and back!) with Team TPR, my triathlon training group. My husband also got to come along because we bribed our nieces into coming over to hang out with their cousins for the day.

The alarm went off at 6am and the first thing Stuart said was, “is that rain?” I was in denial so ignored him and went and got dressed. I wore my HTFU shirt because I figured it might be appropriate for a day like today. Once we had got all our shit together (and we like to carry a lot of shit), we hit the road. Plan was to meet at the trailhead at 6:30am for 7:00am departure, but no-one is ever on time so we left the house at 6:27 for the 20-minute drive. It wasn’t raining too hard but it was foggy and DARK.

So we get to the trailhead and 2 other teammates are there. I make a trip to the portapotty. I am sure a cricket lives in there. It is always chirping and I am terrified it is going to jump on me and I’m going to fall over or touch something. I try not to touch any part of the portapotty (except the door handle). I also hold my breath while in there. I’m always worried I’m going to drop something into the toilet. Seriously, I’m much better off going behind a tree.

By 7:00ish there are 6 brave souls, ready to depart. Oh, wait, coach still has pants on and is mixing Heed. Portapotty visit #2. Seriously. I don’t know what it is about standing around but it always makes me have to go. Eventually we depart and start heading East on the trail, which is an adventure in itself because we always head West on our rides. At a brief stop in Vienna I got out my Powerbar Energy Chews and dropped one on the ground. Everyone dared me to pick it up and eat it. There was no way I was doing that because 1) I was straddling my bike so couldn’t reach down to get it and 2) a lot of dogs walk along that path… Then Jamie wandered over, reached down, picked it up, and ate it. We all just stared at him. Then I said, “you know that fell out of my mouth, right?”

We rode the 30 or so miles into DC at a leisurely pace and by 9:30 were mingling with the tourists at the Lincoln Memorial. That’s when we had the bright idea to do some planking. We took some pictures and then realized that the tourists were also taking pictures…of us. We actually posed for a couple of them. I wonder what they tell friends and relatives back home. “Look at what the crazy Americans do every weekend. Yes, this is their national pastime.” Well, it’s kinda true. Except that I’m not American. 🙂

Stuart and me planking at Lincoln Memorial

We also visited the awesome new MLK memorial where you’re not allowed to do anything:

I'll bet swimming's not allowed, either...

…and then FDR memorial, where we got in trouble for riding our bikes through the memorial. Well, it’s hard to walk in bike shoes. Then I took off my shoes to plank and almost got arrested so we decided it was time to leave.

Not a very good plank at FDR Memorial because it had to be quick before we got arrested

We rode around the tidal basin (while tourists in buses took more pictures of us) to have lunch at the Sculpture Garden Pavilion Cafe, one of my favorite places to eat in DC. One of the sculptures is designed to look like an entrance to the Metro in Paris, so I like to pretend I’m in France while eating my salade de cobb. Actually, I didn’t realize it was a sculpture until we leaned our bikes up against it, and instantly got told off by a park policeman. Apparently you can’t lean your bike against the sculptures…or anything, for that matter. We tried to lay them in the grass but the Smithsonian staff didn’t like that…they did, however, tell us we could lean them against the wall, which apparently is not a sculpture.

One of the sculptures...what do YOU think it is?

So we got our food and instantly were visited by two very tame squirrels. They weren’t afraid of us, despite our attempts to be very scary, and one jumped up on an empty chair and almost flew into Tracy’s lap. One also touched my bike tire, the little bugger. They were taunting us by running up and down the wall next to our bikes, reaching out a foot toward a bike every now and then, daring us to yell at them.

We decided to ride back along Constitution Ave. I questioned the wisdom of this because I find Constitution scary enough when I’m in a car, but was overruled. So halfway down this potholed, traffic-filled road, one of Stuart’s water bottles ejects from the rear cage and goes flying into the middle of the road. I turn around in time to see a cab go over it and tell Stuart, “Forget it, it’s in the middle of Constitution.” But he wants that water bottle because he paid $7 for it so it’s clearly worth running across three lanes of traffic to retrieve. Of course he gets it without incident otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this, but I didn’t think it was worth the risk.

Riding back was fine until we hit the 50 mile mark. Then I was toast. I just wanted off that bike, like I do every long ride. We ended up riding about 70 miles (I turned my Garmin off when we were pootling around in DC so don’t know exactly how far). Then I had to run for 10 minutes, per my training plan (which I am burning after Austin 70.3) and then go swim 1000 meters, which sucked, but I did it so I could write that I did it in the blog.

So, all in all, a pretty uneventful, lay-on-the-couch kinda day.

When I said "carry me" I meant ALL the way home...

The girls - Me, Valerie, Tracy

The boys - Stuart, Brian, Jamie

The Bikes


  1. […] the full write-up, go to  But here is a sneak peek at how we had fun: Me and Alison Planking at the Reflecting Pool […]

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