Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Last Weekend in the Bay Area (Version 2.0)

I originally thought last weekend was going to be my last weekend here in the Bay area, but plans changed and as it turns out, this is my last weekend at home. My family and I drove 2 hours to Lake Folsom, where my sister raced in an open water 5k. I used to love racing in open water events, though I'm not quite sure why... the water is cold, there are no flipturns, you get awful tanlines, and people kick and scratch you to try to break into the leader's pack. Maybe its just because I was a distance swimmer.

All the swimmers lined up between the starting buoys at Lake Folsom today.
 It cracks me up that Masters swimmers wear their BlueSeventy racing suits to open water swims, I guess they are afraid of the cold? The officials said that the lake was about 67 degrees today, compared to a normal pool racing temperature of 78 degrees. But it was like 90 degrees outside in the sun, so that should have warmed up the swimmers a bit. Or maybe the Masters swimmers were just trying to get that extra edge with the seamless technical suits...

Those BlueSeventy suits are pretty expensive to be splashing around a lake in!
 A few years ago, I placed 3rd at the Clemson Grand Prix Open Water event with at time of 1:00 (1 hour and some seconds that I've since forgotten) but only the top 2 finishers from each Grand Prix event qualified for the USA Swimming National Open water meet.

This is from the Clemson race in 2008. Note to self - lake water also turns swimsuit straps brown.
My sister won the 5k today, finishing first on the women's side with a time of 1:02... and she's only 15! So she still has plenty of time to beat my best 5k time, what a baller :) Here she is running up to the finish line.

Theres nothing quite like running uphill for 25 yards when you've just been swimming all out for an hour.
While my sister was racing for an hour, I walked around the lake and snapped a few photos. The shoreline was rocky but really calm. Its probably rocky since its a man-made lake, there was a huge dam in the distance.

Definitely no lifeguard on duty.
The lake's shoreline reminded me of this Amazon Kindle tv commercial where the girl sits on a rock and reads her Kindle by the water. If I had a Kindle, maybe I would have just chilled on a rock and read books on it too. The new Kindle looks nice, and they've knocked the price down to just $139. However, I don't really have time to read a lot of books, so I didn't invest in a Kindle... so I just played with the 10-second timer on my camera instead. I've heard a lot of the Peace Corps Volunteers have them and absolutely love them though, they're probably way more convenient than reading actual paperback books while overseas.

Yes, I know jump pictures are so High School Musical. But not bad for the 10-second timer, eh?
 And here is another shot, I managed to get like 5 of these in a row where I'm still on the ground (and not jumping in the air). Oh well, this one turned out good enough and I just look really excited to be on a beach.

Thats right, I wear my Chacos on the beach. Especially when the beach is more rocky than sandy.
These extra few days at home have also given me some extra time to re-pack my suitcases. I updated my Packing List and adjusted some quantities of the clothes and items that I'm bringing to Ukraine. I took out some stuff like a pair of jeans, 2 workout tshirts and 2 dresses. I hate having to leave these clothes behind at home, but I know I'll definitely want to shop and pick up more clothes when I get to Ukraine. And I added some things that I had forgotten about packing, like my regular Nalgene waterbottle and a few more pairs of fluffy socks. I also crammed some little things like my deck of UNO cards, my 2 photo albums and my non-graphic calculator (don't judge, I am a true math nerd at heart) with the rest of my school supplies into my GT Speedo swim backpack for my carryon. My backpack is going to be ridiculously heavy to lug around the airport, especially with my huge laptop, but thats better than having to pay for overweight baggage fees.

I finally got both of the suitcases down to 48 lbs, which makes me feel so accomplished! I think I am set and ready to go for Monday morning, when I fly to DC to meet up with the rest of my Peace Corps group 40 1/2 : )


Nicole said...

Looks like a wonderful weekend, and I'm still in awe of your packing skills :) We're finally leaving!! See ya soon!

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