Sunday, February 3, 2013

Evidence of Economic Recovery

Let's face it, my finances for the past year haven't been exactly on top of their game. There's a big reason for this: the Democrats are in control and have been for quite some time we were paying the bills on 2 houses at the same time. Then, a couple of weeks ago, the burden was lifted on one of those fine dwellings. We found a nice young couple of suckers to take over the responsibilities of the old house.

  • Gone was the second mortgage (okay, it was actually the first mortgage since we owned that house first). 
  • Gone was the insurance premium, which we kept current because we had this secret dream that some natural disaster would wipe the house out and we could simply collect the premium and be done with the housing market (yes, I know there are flaws in that scheme, just let me have my fantasy). Also, the mortgage people required it.
  • Gone was the school tax that we still have to pay even though we don't have any children. Since I am a teacher, it's sort of like paying my own salary. And that, like all perpetual motion devices, doesn't work as well as you'd hope.
  • Gone was the water bill, whose main purpose was to make sure the toilets would flush. Apparently, if you let the bowl go dry due to natural evaporation, the scent trap underneath gets freed and you populate your house with the smell of your community's sewer system. The basic service fee cost more than the amount of water used and almost all of that was by flushing non-soiled toilets.
  • Gone was the gas bill, whose sole purpose was to provide fuel to the boiler and give heat so that the water pipes needed to flush the toilet didn't burst in places we didn't want them to. (It's a viscous loop.)
  • Gone was the electric bill, whose sole purpose was to provide energy to the pump that circulated the hot water from the boiler to the rest of the house so that the pipes wouldn't freeze so that we could flush the toilet. 
  • (It seems a lot of our money went into making sure that the toilet would flush in a house that we didn't want anymore.)
Now that all of the above has been deleted from our list of requirements, our bank account is starting to show signs something that resembles normalcy. For example, I have heard of places that will make food for you. You walk in to these place and select an item from a list of options. You are allowed to make changes, such as adding additional products or removing  a selection. Then, they will cook your food and deliver it to you fresh and hot. We tried that the other day and it was awesome.

Further evidence, new shoes. I've been in need of a new pair for a while now. My old ones were getting a little ratty. Look at the pic. These obviously aren't mine because I would never actually run in a pair of Saucony's (unless someone from Saucony wants to sponsor me, then of course I'd love the shoe <ahem- hint hint->). The shoes in the pic share some striking similarities with my real shoes-Mizuono's (if anyone from Mizuno happens to be reading this, I'm expecting a call from Saucony to discuss sponsorship, but I will entertain any offers from you). With all of my cash being flushed, I've been holding off on the purchase. No more! I actually bought a pair of new running shoes. Granted, they haven't made me any faster but my feet do stay a little warmer and dryer in the winter's cold.

Here's the big one. The conclusive evidence that my checkbook has been unburdened from its shackles. The sure fire way that you know that things are starting to look up for the Banter again.

I'm training again.

Up until yesterday, I had simply been working out. The philosophy behind that statement can be found here. For those of you too lazy to click the link, allow me to summarize. No races + no goals= No training. As you have probably surmised, I have officially signed up for a race. My sidebar has been updated. I am taking my nice new running shoes out for their very first training run later today.

I signed up for the Keuka Lake Triathlon- Olympic Distance. The KLT is an outstanding event. It's a beautiful location. Challenging course. Perfect amenities. I mean it no harm or disservice when I say this is/ nor will not be the main event of my season. Then, why in the world did I choose this race first?

A couple of reasons: First, it's the traditional kickoff to the triathlon season. Most races prior to June are either running-only events or duathlons. Most triathletes are pansies (myself included) who don't like cold water swims. Upstate NY is mired by high latitude numbers. This equates to poor levels of insolation and, due to water's high specific heat, a tendency to have chilly water temps. Any colder, in some years, and the race would become a duathlon, which is triathlon's bastard brother of multisport.

Second, of all of the triathlon race distances, I enjoy the Olympic Distance the least. Don't get me wrong, all triathlon events are fun and on orders of magnitudes greater than their single sport companions. If you take the rest of the sporting world out of the equation and focus at the pointy end of the spectrum, Olys are the hardest. They're almost fast. They're almost long. They're completely hard. But, I have delusions of longer stuff, making this race a great steeping stone. It's also a rather efficient gauge of my early season fitness.

And lastly, I signed up for this race because the RD is smart. Triathlons are expensive to start off with, difficult to plan, and complicated to coordinate. Unlike running races which seem to allow anyone with a twenty dollar bill to get in, there is a triathlon race capacity. Swarms of competitors swimming, biking, and running take work to manage and keep safe. More people equals more work and more risk. But triathlon is growing while the venue capacity seems to have stagnated. RD's all across the country are seeing their race sell out. This is a good thing for them. In fact, the earlier the race sells out, the better. They get capital in hand, pay their bills (which may or may not be toilet flushing related), and can plan accordingly.

With that in mind, RD's offer a discount for people to sign up early. Like I said, the RD is smart. This is the real reason I signed up for the race. The KLT early bird special ended yesterday. That knowledge alone was enough for me to open my wallet, pull out the credit card, and sign the electronic waiver. I "saved" $5 by forking over digital cash yesterday instead of today. It's still not enough to get someone to bring me cooked food, but it's a start.

The other races on my wish list have later deadlines and I am a procrastinator by nature. I will be signing up for more races. I still have yet to register for the big one. I have an idea for that race. But, like I said earlier, we are not in full blown recovery and tris are expensive. I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

  1. I hate the viscous cycles. They tend to be a little thick for my taste.

    I did the same thing for my target race (wanting to sign up before the $$ goes up), but sadly it was ALREADY SOLD OUT. Good for the RD, bad for me.

    Good luck on the race.