Monday, May 11, 2009

Armadillo Hill Country Classic but NO Armadillos!

On Saturday morning I rode the Armadillo Hill Country Classic in Liberty Hill, TX. They have several route options, but I did the 80 miler (which was really a 78+ a little miler). The day started off quite well, overcast, not as hot as it was on Friday, and the wind was not gusty!! I rode with my friend Tanya for the first 25 miles or so, and then our routes broke off. At around mile 30 I found myself riding with another lady who was cycling strong. We got to talking and while she lives in Austin now, she is originally from Germany. Having served over there, we talked about Germany and several other things, and finished out the last 48 miles together, stopping at only one rest stop. However, there was a low water crossing area that had some water in it, and it was at the bottom of a hill. We saw a guy go down in it before we got to it, and thankfully he was okay. But, to be sure we didn't suffer the same fate, we stopped and walked across. I nearly slipped on the slick algae that lined the crossing! Not too long after that we had to slow down for horses crossing the road, and THEN we had to wait for a skunk (tail raised and everything!) to cross the road out of spray range as well!! Plenty of road runners darted across the roads, squirrels and possums served as dead obstacles throughout the course, a rattlesnake was in the road--but thankfully no longer in the land of the living when I saw it--and of course some Texas buzzards were taking advantage of the road kill. What did I NOT see while riding the Armadillo Hill Country Classic--that's right, an Armadillo (dead or alive!). Sort of ironic! Anyhow, it was a great ride, and I felt FANTASTIC when I finished. The wind was really not noticeable at all until the last 10 miles. I hydrated well, hit my nutrition well, and on a hilly course I averaged just over 18mph! I was thrilled! Not only that, but I made a new cycling friend, and she even ran the first mile of my 3 mile post-ride brick run!! It was HOT and humid by the time I started running, but I felt pretty solid--NO LEG PAIN at all!! Yes, that's right, I'm back to running. I'm keeping it short and easy, but I'm definitely getting back to it all and thrilled about it. I am excited about racing the CapTex Olympic Triathlon on Memorial Day!

Last weekend's ride at the Tour d' Hood was captured on film by reporters from the Ft. Hood Sentinel, and for some reason (I was wearing my Team Army Cycling jersey) I was the only one identified in this photo--I'm the blurry one in the back in yellow! I do enjoy wearing the Army yellow, and it's nice on rides, like the Armadillo, as I often get a lot of "Go Army!" Thankfully no one has said the evil "Go Navy, Beat Army" yet!!
Life is staying busy, but there are some excellent things happening at work. If I haven't mentioned it before, your American Soldiers are highly talented. Last week my Military Working Dog section went through some intense training and certification and it was incredible to observe Soldiers, many just 24 years old or so, work under intense circumstances, in partnership with their assigned K9. I'm so honored to have the job that I do!
Have an awesome week. I am doing my first Century (100 mile ride) this next weekend!! Should be fun!