I made the long trip to Lubbock today and am simply relaxing in my room this evening after a decent dinner. The room is basic, but clean, so for that I am grateful. Anyhow, the long car ride that I thought would be about 5 hours ended up being near 6. There are two reasons for this: I didn't go above 65mph, and I was typically on cruise control at 60mph. I felt slow compared to all the people passing me, but I can absolutely tell it saved me fuel, and thus money. The second reason it took me longer is, that in those 6 hours I had to stop 6 times to "go." But, considering I was consuming about 32oz's of fluid an hour, you can imagine I was well hydrated. At one point I was stuck in the middle of about 6o miles of nothing in West TX. This is NOT a good situation to be in should you be hydrating at the same prolific rate I was. I thought I was going to burst. FINALLY I saw a Picnic Area. Now, in TX, along the highways you have two types of stops: picnic stops and rest areas. Rest areas have bathrooms (and one even advertised WiFi today?!?), but picnic stops, well they have picnic tables. So there I am, in the middle of nowhere W. TX and I know I'm not going to make it to the next town, about 35 miles down the road. I was so thrilled to see that picnic area. No one was there, it went off the main road quite a bit, and backed up to some ranch/farm land that had lots of trees on it. PERFECT for opening up car doors on the passenger side, with the vehicle perpendicular to the main road and helping keep TX green. Too much information for you? I know, probably so. But, this wasn't difficult for me. This was very simple in fact. It was quiet, no one was there, I wasn't wearing body armor, I wasn't getting shot at, and I didn't have to worry about jumping in my hummvee to make a quick get-away before I was done with business. See, THAT is much more difficult. And yes, I have been there and done that in the middle of Baghdad, day and night. Sometimes you couldn't just stop either, and it wasn't wise to get out...thank goodness for liter bottles and good Soldiers that, when you tell them that they better not look or they be escorting the porta potty trucks for a week, listen to what you tell them to do. Yes, I think it is fair to say that the hardest thing about being a woman in the military while deployed in a combat zone is going to the bathroom while on mission "outside the wire" (not on a secured base). Truthfully, that was the most difficult thing about being a woman over there. It was so much easier for the guys!
In either case, traveling for a tri or patrolling the roads of Baghdad, hydration is essential and I try to stay well hydrated! I gave up any kind of sodas/cokes (<--I'm from TX, it's all coke) while on this last deployment. All I drink these days is water (often flavored by Crystal Light or generic brands like it), coffee (basically water), occasionally tea (iced or hot, but always unsweet), and then sports drinks during competition. I've never cared for regular cokes much--who wants to drink away their calories (unless in a race of course)?? Another reason why I'm not really a "drinker" either--way too many calories and I like to be control too much! The occasional single drink, glass of wine or the such, is nice, but I don't need or desire more than that.
Hmm, not much more to say except for I'm enjoying linking into the other blogs around here and appreciate the encouragement! So many folks think us triathlete people are nuts (and probably appropriately so) that it's nice to encourage each other and see that there are other nuts out there like us!