Friday, August 1, 2008

Vacation comes to an end...

Well, the vacation time is over...okay, not really till Monday, but I'm not getting charged vacation days now. It's been a nice, but somewhat quick month. Why couldn't time go that quickly when I was deployed? Oh well. I did get a great deal accomplished, maybe not all that I had wanted to do, but the major things did get done. I finally feel like my house is "together." My yard could be greener, but I can weed-eat now. My dining room table and chairs are in their place. My bedroom, guest bathroom, and exercise room are happy colors. My patio is nicely set up with patio furniture. I have flowers that have managed to keep alive for nearly a month! I took the GMAT and did very well on part of it, and discovered what I need to study for next time. I got my driver's license renewed and my dog groomed. I got in some good training sessions, and I slacked on a few--but it was vacation, that's allowed. I raced and completed my first Half-Ironman at Buffalo Springs. I placed 2nd in my age group at the Disco Olympic Tri, and I placed first in my age group in the Freedom Fest 5K. Hopefully I bring home some more hardware on Sunday from my sprint race. I spent some good time with some good friends, to include my parents visiting. I bought race wheels that are super-sweet looking and I'm excited about racing. I rarely had to wake up at 4AM...though I do well at morning workouts. All in all, it was a low-key, but good time off. This month includes some decent volume in training as the Longhorn Half-Ironman is just over two months away and the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon is 3 1/2 months away. I will start it off with Jack's Generic Triathlon this Sunday. I will also do the Cove House Classic 63 miler in Copperas Cove, and then the next day do my first 2.4 mile open water swim at Mansfield Damn in Austin. I will also begin the process of preparing to take command in September, so change of command inventories are in my future. I also need to finalize my command philosophy and work on some other necessary pre-command preparation. So, it will be a full month. I'll be back in a routine, which won't be bad. In an odd way, I do enjoy my 5AM swims and runs in the dark with my blinky light strobing. Monday brings it all back!
BUT--before then I will go on a group bike ride tomorrow, then head to Austin for packet pick up and to stay with my wonderful Austin friends, and then race in the Jack's Generic Sprint Tri (500m swim, 13.8 mile bike, 3.1 mi run)! Best of wishes to everyone else racing this weekend!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Canadian Tri Hero and Thoughts on Tri-Gear

Today's post is for my fellow tri-readers out there, tomorrow I'll post something for everyone that is in the "works."

Tri-Hero: Big kudos out to Canadian amateur triathlete Casey Pierce who saved the lives of a couple whose boat capsized in a lake in Canada. She was on a bike ride with a family, heard the couple cry out, dove into very cold water, swam about a kilometer to them, and then TOWED them back in their canoe as she swam with a rope around her waist! Read more about it HERE.

Gear: Triathlon definitely is a "gear" don't need much to get started in a sprint: a bike that can make it 12-15 miles, a swim suit and goggles, and running shoes. That's really ALL you need for a sprint triathlon. Really, one could argue it's ALL you need for any triathlon. However, it seems as one gets addicted to the sport (which seems to be the way it goes), the tri-specific gear becomes "important." I fully admit that it has for me...remember those pictures of the sweet wheels on my bike (which, BTW, I rode the wheels for 10 miles on my 10 mile route this morning and I rode it the fastest I have ever ridden that route, and it WAS windy, and I was fatigued...maybe it was the wheels, maybe it was all in my head, but I'll take 2 mph!), or have you laughed at my aero helmet in the picture up there, or do you ever wonder why any of us run around in lycra with strategically placed pockets to stash our "nutrition"...yep, it's cause we like the gear, and proper use of it can make you a faster athlete IF used properly. I'm no expert, and I'm continuing to learn. Just like we have "PX Rangers" in the Army (those that buy "all" the gear at the local post exchange and look like a futuristic Soldier, when really they don't have a clue about soldiering), there are definitely those that have "all" the gear but no idea how to use it properly. I must say, I smiled when I got back from the swim at my last tri and extremely tricked out Cervelo P3C with Zipp808's, powertap, etc. was still was even better when I got to the bike-run transition and the bike WASN'T there (because I beat her--she never passed me on the run either). That being said, I still have a lot to learn. One of the BT guys that recently did an awesome 10:48 at IM Lake Placid started a blog and is putting out his two-cents about tri-gear on his new page, so go visit Fred and his post about the "Best Investment for the Triathlete."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How far have you gone this year?

I hate math, but I like from my workouts that is: be it pace, my heart rate, how far I went, etc. Thanks to the awesome logs at I have all records of every ride, every run, and every swim. The site puts together nice monthly and yearly totals, and you can compare it all in a variety of fashions. Oh, and FYI, such logs are free--check it out. Today there was a thread started in the Tri-Talk forum that I remember seeing last year and looked forward to playing this year. In a nutshell it was "How far have you gone this year" with the idea of, if you took all the miles that from swimming, biking, and running, where could you visit in the US (or wherever you are). Googlemaps makes this easy to figure out, and in the end it's a "fun" way to quantify the extent of my training. Come the end of the year I'll do this again and we'll see "how far" 2008 takes me!

My bike mileage takes me on a trip from Killeen, TX to Tampa, FL and up to Washington D.C. (approx. 2031 miles)
My run mileage takes me west from Killeen to Las Cruces, NM (622 miles)My swimming mileage takes me through Austin to the little town of Kyle, TX. (86 miles)

P.S. Thank you for all the kind comments on the furniture and the walls!! I think I finally feel "settled" in the house. BTW- painting seems to be a big "post race" deal for me: I've done it (with my folks help) after both the Austin Marathon and Buffalo Springs 70.3! Painting = good recovery maybe?!?!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Finally...Dinner Anyone?

Finally, after 6+ months since I ordered it, my complete dining room table and chairs is where it should be: in my house!! These are Amish, hand-made pieces from Ohio. Anyone want to come over for dinner??? (also, there is a great leaf for the table that self-stores inside the top of the table--so plenty of room for entertaining!)