Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Race Season is Here

We have another race this weekend. This time it's a duathlon, or DUALathon, as my coworker likes to call it. I keep picturing sword fighting for some reason. I have done maybe 3 duathlons in my life, and as I recall, they are particularly painful. I should be getting used to the run-then-bike thing, but another run afterward?? This should be my forte, since I'll never be a great swimmer (I am in my acceptance phase). 

The taper came at a good time, since Jeremy is working 12 hour shifts (suckas!), due to this exercise the base is doing. Side note: hopefully this is not TMI to give out... I got a kick out of hearing, "Exercise, exercise, exercise" over the intercom the first time. Being in health promotion, my first thought was that everyone was catching on. Yes, I'm that slow sometimes. 

We aren't able to go anywhere fun (outside of the so so fun city) when J is on call, so we rode in the flat basin this weekend. I actually enjoyed it despite the wind and the boringness of the view. (It looks even more boring due to my new camera app)

I had a brief meltdown about 30 minutes from home, and I don't even remember why. But then on Monday, J was off work, so he had our bikes loaded and ready when I got home from work. We drove up the mountain and rode one of my favorite rides. It was cold enough that we started with arm warmers and my hands were frozen at the end. What a difference from the basin! We cut it about 4 miles (and 800ft of climbing!) short, since we didn't want to run out of daylight. And I realized that THIS is what I want to do. I want to ride in scenic places, up mountains, down mountains, in the trees, looking for bears. 

If that works with triathlon training, I'm good.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The days have been flying by with work, a little training here and there, and a trip to Memphis. It was my great aunt's 90th birthday on Saturday, the day before my wedding anniversary, so we flew out to celebrate. I hadn't seen my nieces and nephews in over 3 months, which is well over half of the youngest one's life. It was less than a 48 hour stay in town, but we still managed to get to see Damie, Laura, Charlie, and Olaf.

In training news, well, there really isn't much news. I'd been going to a physical therapist about my 12 year old hamstring tendinitis. After a point, like in any relationship, I realized that he wasn't listening to me and I didn't trust him. I decided it really wasn't worth my time to get ultrasound plus a little deep tissue massage that any good husband, who even vaguely knows anatomy, could perform. So I had to break up with him. I left a message on his voicemail that I wouldn't be coming back, and told him it was me, not him. I've been broken up with over email, and despite my surprise at the time, I've decided that it was the way to go. No awkward explanations or weird conversations.

At work I've been doing a little more. I now make coffee every morning and teach one of my coworkers computer basics. I realized how much he needed to learn when he tried to tell me how to close a document -- by clicking that little X in the upper right corner. He calls me in for help with things like printing certain pages of a pdf. It keeps me busy. I also learned just today that we have a monkey farm on base. I thought I'd fallen asleep for a second when a guy told me this, but no, it's exactly what it sounds like. Apparently it's a retirement home for former primate pilots. I didn't ask too many details, but I do plan to ride my bike out that way. He mentioned flying fish or something too. I think it's worth the ride.

I've had a few people come into my office wanting help with running, and I've recently taught a spin class to total beginners. I really like this crowd of people who are so new, pretty much anything you give them will help them. When "run 3 times a week" is an increase from their current plan, you know they'll be faster with your guidance. Today in a class I asked if anybody ever went to the weight room. I saw 7 blank stares. Aha, this may be the reason you all recently failed your fitness test. Just a guess.

Or maybe it's because you've been testing on the outdoor track instead of the indoor one. Last week a girl told me that she was trying to test inside because "that altitude outside is killing me!" You know, since we pump oxygen into all the buildings to make up for that.

Some of the people are willing to take advice, and I love helping them. And most of them really want to know how to improve. Then there was a girl who I gave several workouts to. Her response was, "I probably won't do this." I love that she was honest! 

I need to be more honest with my workouts. One of these days I will most likely be telling Jeremy, "You know that bike workout we had for this afternoon? I probably won't do it." That'll be one of the many days we get warnings on our computers about the high winds. Uphill + 50mph gusts is something I am completely over. Today was a "calm" day, but I still designed our track workout to go with the wind during the hard part of the interval, into it on recovery. :)

While my body is still going slow, I'll still give it a reason to go slow, so back up to the mountains we go!

The most unusual day: clouds and cold.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

First Race of the Year Report -Mesilla Valley Sprint

It sure has taken me a long time to get to writing about my race on Sunday. It's not because I had a lot to complete, either. I'm just being lazy. We went an hour south to the Mesilla Valley Sprint Triathlon for the first race of the year. It is what seems to be standard order around here: run, bike, then swim. I knew it was a 5k run and a 500m swim, but couldn't remember the distance of the bike until I got to the starting line and asked a woman standing next to me. Something like 15 miles. A mass start of about 220 people was uneventful. I watched for a few women who quickly got out ahead of me, recognizing one that I knew to take off jackrabbit style and slow down later. The first half was slightly uphill to the turnaround. The race started at 9:00, so I was already getting a little toasty by the aid station. I grabbed a cup of water and promptly poured half over my head, then swigged it. Ahhhhhh, powerade. Guess I should've checked before dousing myself with its stickiness. I could even feel it on the backs of my knees with every step. 

I pulled into T1 right with the 2nd place jackrabbit girl, happy with a 6:50ish pace. I find it really hard to pace a run with the thought of the rest of the race in mind. I'd slow down to conserve, then decide to push harder, then remember the bike, etc. The girl just ahead of us must've had a slow transition, because I came out right with her. She and jackrabbit proceeded to pull ahead of me, but since that's just not my style (I can't sprint anymore), I stayed calm and rode my own pace. I was surprised a few miles later when a couple of other girls came by, but only one was really flying, so I just kept my eye on them. My husband also came by me, and I was plotting my repass of the whole lot of them.

Then, a few hundred yards from the turnaround, I heard the hiss of a flat tire, and realized that it was indeed MY tire. Of course I hadn't taken a spare tubular tire in a sprint race. I have never had a flat on tubulars, this was a brand new tire, and besides, I don't have a bit of practice changing them. My race was over. I walked to the turnaround where I spent over an hour directing traffic, cheering, and chatting with my new friend Fred. Luckily I've had lots of practice at the Los Locos Du doing precisely that job. 

Jeremy ended up having a good race, but he still doesn't have a win over me yet. :)

Since I got less than a decent workout Sunday (7 whole miles on the bike minus warmup), we made our Tuesday workout a little harder. We rode halfway up the back side of the mountain. I kept my heart rate super high with the thoughts of stalking mountain lions, with which I have become a little obsessed. I met a guy last week whose brother knew a guy killed by a mountain lion while riding his bike in California. I know that's a few degrees away from me, but nevertheless, it's a connection. Sure enough, when we dismounted to cross the creek, I saw a large track in the gravel. Jeremy swore it was a dog track. 

I'm getting really good at identifying the differences in canine and feline tracks now, so when people come to visit for training camp, I'll be prepared. I might even have poop-IDing ability by then. And some good pepper spray. Or a hand grenade.

Does this look like lion country to you? Don't answer that.