Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Reunion Recap

My 10 year class reunion went great except for being crashed by pathetic guys who graduated years ahead of us but since they are still stuck in our hometown with dead end jobs working for their parents have nothing better to do but to show up to parties uninvited and drunk and basically make total jerks of themselves. Slightly obnoxious but you just hope in the long run that they end up in AA and not wrapped around a telephone pole.

On the same note, here is a conversation NOT to have with your boss on returning from your 10 year reunion:

Boss: “How was your reunion?”
Renee: “It was great! Everyone has gotten larger and balder.”
Follicle challenged Boss: (tilts his head so I can catch the reflection from the lights on the top of his head)
Renee: “stammer”
Boss: “You were saying?”
Renee: “But they are so much younger than you!”
Aged and follicle challenged Boss: “So…..I am old and bald.”
Renee: “………”
Renee: “Here is my resignation”

Overall the time back home was good. I have come to terms with the fact that my family likes my boyfriend better than me. I think my mother still likes me better though and that is what is important. I did set out to go for a run on Saturday morning, but my brother drove past me on the way to work and mention that his kids were sitting in front of the tv which he knew would drive me nuts. I ended up stopping to get them (they live right down the road from my parents) and my run became a nice long walk with them, but still good because it was uninterrupted time with them and gave them a chance to talk non-stop to me without me getting distracted which can be a bad habit of mine. I did not think they would make it the whole way just because the number of hills, but they ended up walking about 2.5 miles without a single complaint!

I am trying to get ready for a bike race in my hometown that last year I did not take seriously because it was just a little 35 mile race that was for charity. I nearly died between “Nine Mile Mountain” and “Roller Coaster Road”. Seriously. This year, I am taking it seriously and will not get off my bike after a hill and throw a temper tantrum (I seriously contemplated disabling my bike at this point just to get out it). I just never knew they could make 35 miles hurt so badly. Anyways, the next two weeks are serious hill and strength training times for me!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Reunion and Past Due Pictures

Today I am leaving for my ten year high school reunion. I am excited to go, but I don’t have any high movie style expectations of finding lost loves (mostly because there were not any in high school) or trying to pass off post-its as my own invention.
I am however revisiting high school in a very personal way. Ok, my face has decided to revisit high school in a very personal way by exploding. There has been a very large mass that grown on the side of my face that refuses to be calmed or subside. Sigh. It might distract from the fact that I had bangs cut yesterday and they are acting like they are on a maximum dose of Viagra and are happily sticking straight up into the air. I have tried every product in the world and am now going to move on to varnish.

In other news, here are the very long past due pictures from the Hotter N Hell 100. I am sorry I did not get pictures from the Tri, but I did not have anyone there. Hopefully next time I will be better about that!

The boyfriend and I before the race. His legs really are white enough to create that kind of glow.

The fighter jets flying overhead before the race.

Finish Line!

One more before the race picture, but it looks like it could be after because of all of the sunscreen grease!

Monday, September 15, 2008

2008 Texas Tech Rec Sprint Tri

Ok, everyone was right and I loved it. I was completely terrified and wanted to bolt the whole time, but I managed to stay put and had a total blast!!!
I managed to get myself to bed at a fairly reasonable hour and only woke myself up in that "OMG I totally overslept!" panic once. I sprung up at 4:45am and packed up all of my neatly laid out out stuff, loaded the bike, puttered around the house for awhile, and finally took off.
Everything apparently went way too smoothly because by the time I checked in, got marked, and set everything up, I had over an hour to wait and fret. After half an hour of just aimlessly wandering, I started edging up to people who looked nice and getting in on conversations and figured out very quickly that tri people are so freaking NICE! I mean WOW! I seriously would have bolted or gotten way too nervous if I had not had these people to talk to. Which was good because After waiting another hour, I ended up waiting another 40 minutes because the swim was a seeded pool swim. But it was ok because I ended up in line with a group of newbie and one older experienced woman who kept us all calm.
The swim was tough, but better than I thought considering since I had not been in a pool in an unmentionable amount of time. I varied up my strokes when I got tired (which was often)and prayed the lifeguard would not think I was drowning! I think I came out of the pool at 13 minutes which was pretty miserable, but I was just getting through.

(NOTE: there was no split timings at this race, just an overall finish time. I had on my watch but I am still not certain how to use to it so all times are rough ones. They don't have our final times up yet so I am not even certain on that either)

I ran outside and quickly threw on my shirt and shoes and grabbed my bike. And here comes the part where Leah jinxed me. Big time. She wanted me to have something funny to tell. So I grab my bike and run to transition, hop on, start to clip in and pedal...and then fall over because my chain has fallen off. I just started to laugh as a guy ran over to help me and put my chain on and I was able to take of for real this time. But Leah, I was thinking about you that whole time!!! The bike was uneventful but I was never really able to get any speed up because it was a 5 lap course so any time I got any speed, there was another turn and I needed to slow down. It was good though because it gave me time to chill from the swim and recover a little mentally.

The transition from bike to run was kind of stiff and harder than I thought it would be. My hip was giving my some problems and I ended up walking for the first few yards. I settled into a very unsightly shuffle for awhile and then walked when needed. I ended up running a lot more than I thought I would though and at one point a woman caught up to me and with a bright smile informed me that she had been chasing me down since the bike. Huh? Someone had been chasing me down? She told me that it had been so frustrating because she would almost catch me and then as soon as we would turn into the headwind she swore I would speed up. To me that seems unlikely, but still flattering in a weird way. We ran along together for awhile, but she ended up ahead and finished about a minute or two ahead of me. I should have pushed harder and caught up, but next time, I am going for times!
I think my overall time was somewhere around 1:35 for a 400 meter swim, 11 mile bike ride and 2.4 mile run so not too bad for my first time. I know I could have pushed a lot harder, but I really think I would not have enjoyed it nearly as much. I met a lot of very nice people and just had a great time and have been looking for other ones close to me. Until then though...I will be hitting the pool and running more because that no practice thing just not smart. I got away with it once, but I am not pulling that again.

Another thanks to all of my blogger friends because just from reading all of your descriptions, I was totally prepared and knew exactly what to expect, how to set up my transitions, and made no major newbie mistakes (that I am aware of). I vaugely checked my trasition times and am pretty sure I did not spend more than 2 minutes at each which was my goal so I am pretty happy with that. Anyways, thanks you guys!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Night Before

I am working on getting packed for tomorrow right now and have probably put it off just a little bit later than I should have, but I have still kept up the internal debate on if I was going through with this or not. I know physically I am as ready as I need to be and this week has been a workout disaster, but you go to triathlon with the body you have, not the body you wish you had. Regardless, I will get through it and it may be slow, but I will complete it and at least one thing will go right this week.
As far as the flooding, things has cleared off so we should have the biking. My car is still dead so I had it towed to the mechanic and am not really expecting a very positive outcome except to be grateful that I have a love of bicycles and enjoy commuting to work.
Thank all of you for your words of encouragement! You guys put such a huge grin on my face and I appreciate all of you so much! All of you are such a great part of my day and I don't even know you. Isn't it a funny little world??

Friday, September 12, 2008

Got Gopher Wood?

Even though Lubbock is about 9 hours away from Hurricane central, we are experiencing what the weathermen are calling a "100 year flood". Ok, so don't laugh when I tell you how much rain we have had because I know a lot of you live in really rainy states. We have 8 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. I realize that does not sound dramatic but I live in a city that has NO drainage. Why? Because it never rains. Until now apparently.

So anyways, I am on my way to the gym yesterday in the flood and fairly excited because I certain the gym will be deserted because of the rain. In my mind this is because everyone else will just be weenies and not want to get wet. It never crosses my mine that people will not be going to the gym because they are smart rational people and actually listen to newscasters when they tell everyone to stay home and not to get out on the roads. To make a very long story short, an hour later I find myself still not at the gym and have a car that is flooded out in the middle of the road. I did get it pushed out to dryish land and hopefully it should be ok once it dries out some. I have been harassed to no end about my stubbornness to get to the gym and if I wanted to swim that badly I could have just gone out in the street to swim. Smart alecs.

As far as the triathlon, I am signed up, but the officials are getting very wishy washy about what they are going to do. They were saying rain or shine but as Lubbock is now in a state of emergency, they are becoming a little more hesitant. They were talking about just taking out the bike portion (why yes, yes that would be my only strong leg) and just doing an extra run (yippee!), but we will see what happens! I am sure they will have something regardless and it will be fun! Until then, I will be in my backyard building a mini ark for me, my cats, and my dog. And hoping that my cars starts up once it dries out and does not have to visit the doctor!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Still Misgivings But....

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Monday, September 8, 2008

To Tri Or Not To Tri

I spent yesterday at Caprock Canyons State Park and spent a few glorious hours climbing up and going down hills and enjoying the gorgeous views. It is amazing sometimes what a change of scenery can do for your attitude. I also went on a short hike and realized that in addition to doing hills on my bike; my legs really need hill training too. Ouch!

The whole time I was on the bike, I kept thinking about this sprint tri that is this weekend at Tech. It is a 400 meter pool swim, 11 mile bike ride, and 2.4 mile run. For those of you who don’t know, I have not done a tri yet and there was one I was going to do in a few weeks, but it turns out my 10 year high school reunion is on the same day. So I have been debating on doing this sprint this weekend, but I am really not prepared at all. Not prepared as in I have not been in the pool in at least 6 weeks and run in about 3. All of my focus has been on biking lately. So do I go wing this or go watch and try to figure out what I am supposed to be doing and do one well?

1.I would be getting my first one over with and so all of that apprehension would be over with and I could just get it done.
2.It is local so easy to get to.
3.Pool swim!!!

1.I have no idea what I am doing except for reading from books and blogs
2.Clothes. I know that sounds stupid but I don’t have a tri suit. Can I just wear a swim suit and then put my bike shorts and top on over that in transition? Or do I swim in my bike shorts? Thoughts?
3.My running. Wow. Bad. It would be a lot of walking. Again, do I just get through it even if I am last? It is not like it would be the first time. Or probably the last time. Time to grow up and get over it right?

I need friends who do this so I have people to pat my back and tell me this is going to be ok. I am all for being strong but sometimes feeling alone and scared sucks. ( yeah yeah, the whole cry me a river thing coming back to bite me) I have to find a coach. I may have a lead on one and maybe that would be the first step. And maybe if I went this weekend, I could make friends!

On shoe and pedal news, I think I am going with the speedplays and a pair of Louis Garneau shoes. I am excited to finally make the choice because it gets so overwhelming when you are new and know nothing. Best of all, they both come in pink. Ok, the shoes are black with just a pink stipe, but I like them. :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bad Blogger

I am a rotten blogger. You can throw tomatoes at me if you want. I have actually had all sorts of clever, wonderful things to write about, but I just have not gotten them from my little pea head to the computer. Kind of like the pictures I promised you. I actually do have them developed but I don’t have them on the computer yet. Obviously if they were anything exciting, I would have already had them posted, but they just did not turn out fantastic. A few are noteworthy though so I will try to summon the energy to get it done.

One thing from the Hotter N Hell that I totally forgot to mention was the tour through Sheppard Air Force Base 10 miles before the end. This is always the coolest part of the ride, but for the last two years, they have really gone all out. Usually you just ride through the base and enjoy the nice roads and get to look up in awe at the planes. For the last two years, they have had a section of the road where they have had cadets lined up along the road cheering for you in a way that makes you feel like you have just won the Tour De France. You turn the corner and all of the sudden, there are 400 cadets roaring at you and all wanting to slap you hand as you pass by and it is just simply….overwhelming. Last year was the first year they had this kind of turnout out and I was completely overcome and spent the next two miles with tears streaming down my face. I would not believe all of these all of these military personnel were out there in the sun clapping for us...cyclists?? It just blew my mind!

This year, I was prepared. As soon as I went through the gates I started prepping myself not cry. I am tough. There is no reason to burst into tears as soon as you see all of those young faces cheering for you and holding out their hands hoping you reach out and slap them. And I am tough. I made it all the way past them and even smiled at them. Of course, as soon as I got past them……well that is another story. I am sure it was just the fatigue though. :)

One story I read when I got home was that at one of the Army bases in Iraq, they had their own Hotter N Hell 100 because one of the soldiers that was stationed there was sad he was going to miss the race that year. He ended of contacting race officials and asked for T-shirts and water bottles and set up a race there. There were not enough bicycles to go around so they had some people riding in spin rooms too. How cool is that!

In other news, I think I have decided on my new shoes and pedals. I am going to the bike shop today to finalize and I will let you know my decision! Possible tri news coming too. Eek.