Monday, May 18, 2009

The 100 miles that wasn't...

Another week has passed, and another week has started. The awesome thing is this is RACE WEEK (sort of --if you count Memorial Day as part of a "long weekend" and not next week) and one week from today I FINALLY get to do a full triathlon this season. But, I won't jump too far ahead. Last week was a VERY long and busy week at work. I had some great training as well, and I'm sure that lent to some of the fatigue I felt by the end of the week, but that's okay. Running is going well, though I have definitely lost some's okay, I will build it back up. The training highlights of the week was definitely a long swim I got in on Thursday, some more running, and a good weekend of training. I was SUPPOSED to do my first 100 mile bike ride on Saturday. Friday night I packed up my gear, got my ride nutrition together, and headed to bed early so I could wake up early and head to Austin. Of course, the waking up early on a Saturday, like 0420 early, only lends to some people's claims that I must be crazy, but that's okay. I pulled myself out of bed, grabbed some breakfast and made my mug of coffee and hit the road to link up with my incredible friend Blythe, her husband Joe, and a band of merry triathletes from the Austin T3 triathlon team for their long weekend bike ride. Most of the T3'ers are doing Ironman Coeur 'd Alene (Idaho) in about a month. I've gone on some of their long rides with them, and Saturday was to be my first 100 mile or "century" ride. We started off right at 0715 and it was beautiful out. We expected storms, but they weren't supposed to start until around 2PM, so we hoped to miss them. We made our way to the first rest stop at 25 miles and we were doing simply excellent and feeling great! It wasn't too windy, it wasn't too hot, it wasn't sunny, it was great! We then made it to the second rest stop, and then, enroute to the 3rd rest stop of the day the skies became very dark--we still held out hope the rain would delay, but then we started to get hit with droplets, that then became hard droplets, that became hail, and suddenly it was as if we went through the a "wall" from somewhat warm temps to 15-20 degrees cooler. The skies opened up on us (there were about 5 of us in our element of the group) and it began to pour. Thankfully, we were no longer on the shelterless country roads, and we had hit some of suburbia "Austin." We came up on a dry cleaner's that had covered overhang and we tucked ourselves and our bikes up underneath. The T3'ers then began the phone chain to get vehicles to pick us up. A Starbucks happened to be just around the corner from the dry cleaners, so 5 wet triathletes popped in and most of us grabbed something to drink. As we sat there sipping on our hot tea and coffee the rain became a monsoon! We stayed there a bit as the phone chain continued to work. It seems the faster group ahead of us by a couple of miles also pulled into some cover...some cover in the form of a brand new bar. It was only about 1130 at this point, and to some true Austinite form that's where they were. A good amount of the crew ended up there, some had a few drinks, and others, like myself, just chit chatted. It really was a nice establishment and not some dicey place. I doubt they have ever had so many stinky, sweaty, and rain soaked people in spandex gracing their establishment! What was incredible is that everyone had been having a wonderful ride, and we all felt great, to the point that many of us said we hardly felt like we had done a workout. I love it that my bike base is solid enough right now that 63 miles was, in essence, "easy." That bodes well for Ironman training. Eventually I made it back to Blythe and Joe's and I got myself cleaned up and headed home. The week caught up to me at that point, and I just crashed a little bit!

The rain meant that I ended up spending 2 hours of my Sunday cleaning my bike, but that was needed. I also got in a 4 mile run and headed out to the lake to get some open water swim work in with two friends, Tia and Tanya. Tia will be doing her first triathlon this next week at CapTex as well. Tanya and I did our best to assist Tia in prepping for the open water swim. We swam next to her, giving a little contact, we swam in front of her, and we showed her what it's like to have someone swim over you like happens in triathlon. She did very well and I'm so excited about the race next weekend.

In other news, but really more important than anything I wrote above, I got a new 1st Sergeant this past week. On Friday we had, what the Army calls, a "Change of Responsibility" where the the senior enlisted Soldier of my unit changes out. It was a very good ceremony. I learned a lot from my first 1st Sergeant, and I'm sure I'll learn a lot from my new one. Change can be very good as Army leaders bring different experiences and leadership philosophies to the table. Life is good and continues to remain exciting and full!