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President's Day Duathlon

Sunday, February 20, 2011

My biggest fear as I drove to White Sands, New Mexico was the run segment of the duathlon. I have not been working much on my "fast walking" because my knees have been a little cranky. I tried to ignore my lack of training for the run segment by watching the gorgeous clouds along the way.

Although the trip was cloudy, the wind wasn't blowing and I had a wonderful time. I checked into the motel in Las Cruces on Friday night and went to the Texas Roadhouse for grilled Salmon, baked sweet potato and a tossed salad. I cheated and had a couple of warm dinner rolls with cinnamon butter but I didn't have anything alcoholic, just ice tea with lemon and I skipped chocolate cake for dessert!

After dinner I went to the mall where I purchased "The Spark" book on sale and a couple of mysteries and then I stopped and got gas, a bottle of water, went to the motel and stretched, read a little and crashed. At home my Yorkie alarm clocks get me up but at a motel it is the cell phone and a wake-up call for which one has to trust the motel. Anyway I was up packing and showering by 4:45. Loaded the car, grabbed a bagel with peanut butter and a small coffee and hopped in the car for the trip to White Sands and the wait to check into the Military Base.

The race started at 8am but since we all had to be at the gate by 6am we got to hear revelry and the blasting guns! The weather was 64 degrees and absolutely calm at 6am when I racked my bike. At start time...calm and 79 degrees. I think the only thing not calm was the pitter-pattering of my heart as a looked at all the beautiful people...runners all, that were toeing the line with me...Ms. Slower than Molasses in January! The gun sent us on our way and it was apparent that I was totally out of my league. Before the race I visited with a lady that went to World's last year. She told me we would do all right as there were only 4 or 5 Athenas entered in the race.

I would be lying if I said I did not want to win. I would also be lying if I said I did not mind finishing last. My motto is to finish and try not to be dead last. Everyone took off on the run like a pack of gazelles and I felt like the lone water buffalo! I got to hear everyone tell me what a wonderful job I was doing as they passed me on the way back to the bike rack and I had not got to the turn around yet. Several thoughts entered my mind and one of them was....just quit! It was fleeting and it angered me. Then I felt acceptance...someone has to be last and at least you are making the effort. As I arrived back to the bike rack there were 2 bikes, mine and a gentleman that was pulled from the race because of a severely sprained ankle.

When I got on my bike (first time on new wheel set), I did not realize that I was 13 minutes behind the nearest competitor. I knew that with a few quick shifts and pedal strokes that I was driving one fast little beast, not me, but bike! I took off, got on the aerobars and rode like I was being chased. Actually I was, by the volunteers that were going along picking up cones, cleaning up road markers, picking up water stations, etc. After 15 minutes on the bike I sat up to stretch and noticed 3 bikes up ahead. My pulse quickened and so did my cadence!

I was chasing the bikes up a long hill, not steep by my standards but a hill never the less. I caught the first bike just past the crest of the hill and the other 4...YES not just three at the bottom of the hill right before another long uphill. All I had to do was keep up my pace, stay relaxed and try to stay ahead and I would be close to last.. not last, and most importantly...finish another race!

The feelings I experienced when I crossed the finish line were indescribable! The expressions on the volunteer's faces were as well. They were as surprised by my arrival as I was. As it turned out....I won the Athena division by a little over 2 minutes! I made up 16 minutes on the bike portion of the race! I have never experienced such a feeling on the bike. It was/seemed totally effortless yet my thighs were screaming bloody murder, my knees were achy jello but I was not out of breath!

AND (drum roll.........) I finished the race, 5K run, 20K bike that was not flat in 1:50:00 flat! fastest time ever!

I have to thank my bike mechanic Annie of Twin Sisters Cycling in Silver City, New Mexico. She does an excellent job with my bike. The drive home again was neat. I love the clouds on the Deming highway and have thought many times they would make great jigsaw puzzles.

These two pictures show the Organ Mountains driving back to Las Cruces. The following pictures are of the Deming flats and clouds going towards Silver City.

Hope you all have a fantastic Sunday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MPALMER15 2/22/2011 9:25PM

    OMG! That is so awesome! Congratulations!

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    AWESOME job!!! You are the queen of the bicycle!! So glad that you didn't give up!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 2/20/2011 6:22PM

    wow! awesome ! you my dear motivated me to bike, and i totaly sux-ed, well my hills aren't a beginner route ;p

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JUNEPA 2/20/2011 3:34PM

    awesome clouds
way to zip along and make up time on the fleet beast

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LINDAKAY228 2/20/2011 2:20PM

    WooHoo!!!! Congratulations on coming from so far behind to winning your division! We have our weaknesses and our strengths and your strength is definitely the bike!!

You must have come back from Las Cruces fairly early. I went down yesterday. I left here about 10:30 and it was okay but went I started home about 3:30 the winds were awful and lots of blowing dust but not bad enough to close the road. But I got back exhausted from fighting the high winds all the way back.

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DUSTYGIRL25 2/20/2011 12:19PM

    Yay for You! You did Awesome! emoticon

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RABID1ST 2/20/2011 10:52AM

    Oh, long round of applause for you!

I empathized so much with you during that moment when you made the turn and were so far behind and wanted to give up. I hope you know that you inspire people simply by staying in the race. I don't know if I would have the courage to keep going when I was so far behind, so that was amazing to me.

And, look, you did much better in another section of the course, so that too is a lesson to us all. Maybe we aren't very good at running, but we could bike or dance or swim.

Know that we are all proud of you for just doing this and for finishing...and it turned out you were doing great. I hope I have this much courage if I ever get to the point of walking a 5K.

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SOCKITTOME 2/20/2011 10:47AM

    Totally awesome, Pat! Glad the latest adjustments to your bike are working out so well, too -- you rock!

I've done only one duathlon so far -- finished dead last and was happy to finish, period. Like you I made up time on the bike portion, but my walk was so slow at that point that I lost the advantage on the second walk. But I finished and that was all I hoped for that time.

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CZARINA_TV 2/20/2011 10:38AM


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Thursday, February 17, 2011

I applied for medical school! I am trying for an OPA degree and at this point I am VERY excited, scared and hopeful!

I am super busy and it has shown in the amount of time I have not been on Spark. Love all my buddies and I will get everything juggled around in the near future!

Have a great rest of the week and weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEPA 2/20/2011 3:19PM

one step close to your dream job !!

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RABID1ST 2/20/2011 10:54AM

    Oh, congrats on this part of your life as well.

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CZARINA_TV 2/20/2011 10:44AM

    Ooooh! Good luck! Crossing my fingers for you!

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BEYOURBEST1 2/19/2011 5:00PM

    I wish you a lot of success in your plans for the future.

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    emoticon emoticon emoticonFan-dam-tastic! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 2/17/2011 9:29PM

    emoticon You are an amazing person. You go Friend. emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/17/2011 9:29:45 PM

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DUSTYGIRL25 2/17/2011 9:05PM

    Woo Hoo! Way to Go!

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APIRLRAIN888 2/17/2011 4:56PM

    woohoo GOOD LUCK!!! go go go! we are here when you need us!

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CLWALDRO 2/17/2011 4:40PM

    emoticon Good luck!!!!!

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CHRIS3215 2/17/2011 4:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SWEETYKINS012 2/17/2011 3:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MPALMER15 2/17/2011 2:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Congratulations!

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LINDAKAY228 2/17/2011 1:28PM

    Congratulations and good luck! I'm excited for you!

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RUNTRILAUGH 2/17/2011 1:22PM


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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

It is official...I have something else to look forward to! Celebrating another clean mammogram (5 years)...I signed up for a President's Day duathlon in White Sands, New Mexico. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Praying for warmer weather has become a way of life around here...and in many other places I am sure. El Nina, I believe is to blame this time around. Global warming....I just don't see it.

The bike has been tuned up and I am forever working on the body and race-walking.

I have actually lost 15 pounds since this picture last year so I bought a new tri suit...a little pink number...but I will not use it on this event. Shorts and top work best for duathlon.

I am still working on getting the right number of carbs in my diet. Unfortunately, regardless the number of carbs, my appetite is growing by leaps and bounds. I think it is the weather....cold, curl up by the fire with a good book and snack all day mentality.

Another positive is that my hair is beginning to grow again! I have used so many different shampoos, rinses, vitamins, minerals, etc. that I could scream. Unfortunately at this point I do not know if it was one particular product or that the hair just decided to start growing again. I KNOW that I am having fits getting it to do what I want it to do.

Lastly, through hard work and patience and visualization I am getting the hang of slipping on my bike shoes when they are clipped on the pedals. I have taken a few falls and so far I only practice in private, but it is coming along. I will not try it at the duathlon but a girl can dream!

Hope you are having a great day....I am!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUBYCLAIRE 2/17/2011 12:20PM

    Sounds to me like you are doing FANTASTIC, Pat!

Good luck with your duathlon!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon


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SOCKITTOME 2/15/2011 1:51AM

    Holy cow...I cannot imagine putting on bike shoes while they're clipped in the pedals already. You're absolutely amazing if you're able to do that! I hear ya on the weather...I'm so ready for spring here! Congrats on the mammo and the weight loss! And say, I read something recently -- a little blurb about how exercise can torpedo weight loss efforts. It appears that women's bodies make a hormone called acylated gherlin when they exercise -- which increases appetite. I haven't done more research on it, but that certainly describes how I felt last summer and fall -- doing all those rides and I was famished all the time! No clue what to do about it, but at least it's nice to know there's a scientific explanation for it.

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IMSMILEY88 2/14/2011 10:03PM

    Congrats on the mammogram. Yeah! And, it sounds like life is looking great. I hope you have a great duathlon!

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NOELLIEMAE 2/13/2011 4:03AM

    CONGRATS!!!!!! :)

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NUTRIGIRL08 2/11/2011 9:28AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHATTYMCPATTI 2/9/2011 12:04AM

    Congrats on the clean mamo! I think when I finally start losing weight I am going to get a pink tri suit too...I want a pink bike as well:) Good luck on your upcoming race!

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FISHINGLADY66 2/8/2011 9:38PM

    I have been Praying for warmer weather also. I'm so tired of the 9 degree days and minus 10 nights. It really does make one want to eat to keep warm. Great job on losing the 15 pounds.

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APIRLRAIN888 2/8/2011 9:17PM

    awesome!!! keep it up

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JUNEPA 2/8/2011 7:38PM

    clean mammogram, very nice
must feel good to be going on the bike again
are you new to pedal clips like Just_Tri_It ?
I still have a plain bike, but am thinking of getting something better

Comment edited on: 2/8/2011 8:00:28 PM

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DUSTYGIRL25 2/8/2011 1:48PM

    Congrats! and good for you with the exercising and especially the positive thinking!! emoticon

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    Congrats on 5yr clean mammograms!! emoticon Have fun training for the duathalon.

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LINDAKAY228 2/8/2011 10:56AM

    Congratulations on the clean mammogram!!! THat's awesome! You're right about the praying for warmer weather. TOday is supposed to be fairly warm but with high winds. Yuck, don't like the high winds either. Am I ever happy???
Good luck on the dualathon!!

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Weather Window Appreciated!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The weather this morning was calm and a balmy 52 degrees. I jumped on old Blue and went for a 35 mile ride. It got a little breezy so I stayed pretty close to town and rode on a lot of neighborhood streets, which kept me protected from the wind. I got a good workout in. I wore a windbreaker over my bike jersey and I definitely worked up a sweat.
Here are a few pictures taken coming into Silver from the West. A little different view as instead of riding to Cliff, I rode from the direction of Cliff.

Do Not let the patches of snow fool you...they are all solid ice and may be around for a while. The red checks just go to show that windburn is almost as bad as sunburn!
Have a great Super Bowl Sunday. Be safe and active and may "Your" team be the one that wins!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    What a beautiful view you have as you bike along. emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 2/7/2011 8:53AM

    I so much appreciated the thaw after those awful temps!! Glad you got a ride in.

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    Glad you got a weather window so you could ride! We only had one day of really bad weather and I got cabin fever in 24 hours. LOL!

emoticon for 35 miles!

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CZARINA_TV 2/6/2011 7:41AM

    Keep it up!

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DUSTYGIRL25 2/6/2011 3:49AM

    Beautiful pictures and your doing a fantastic job!

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    Wow - looks great. It's the wind chill that's been getting to me, and I was just walking the pups, not riding. Kudos to you!

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FISHINGLADY66 2/5/2011 11:14PM

    emoticon Pat. We can't see any ground around here from all the snow. Getting some more tomorrow. Keep on riding and enjoy the sunshine. emoticon

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APIRLRAIN888 2/5/2011 11:03PM

    awesome thank you for the 35 miles! and I love reading how you guys achieve them!

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2, 4, 6, 8, Who Do We Appreciate?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Well, NOT the weather! 2, 4, 6, and 8 were the most common temperatures around here today. -2, -4, -6, -8 and possibly lower are expected tonight. I lived in Syracuse, Kansas for I while...left when it was 30 below. When I was in college and on judging teams, we stayed in Amarillo, Texas. It snowed and I decided that the only thing between Amarillo and the North Pole was a barbed wire fence. Once again I left.Meat judging in Garden City, Kansas....forty below. We were anxious to get into the quick freeze room off of the kill floor because it was only 20 below in there. Left as soon as possible. In other words....THERE IS A REASON I CHOSE TO LIVE IN THE DESERT...I really do not like cold weather. Too BAD!

So remember the old tune: "Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother's house we go....."

I am not going by sleigh unless that bad boy is heated! I know I am not the only person not enjoying the weather. Lets all be safe, no slipping, sliding or falling. Let us all stay warm and may we all hope and pray that the weather starts to back off just a little bit. My yorkie loves the snow but he is short legged and he things I have to clear a special path for him to go pee! LOL

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MPALMER15 2/11/2011 12:27AM

    There is always a Welcome sign at the Florida state line! It NEVER snows here.

Comment edited on: 2/11/2011 12:27:27 AM

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CZARINA_TV 2/4/2011 10:44AM

    2, 4, 6, 8? You're colder in the desert than we are here in NYC. Our coldest days have been in the 20s.

Stay warm!

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LINDAKAY228 2/4/2011 8:19AM

    Where is spring???? I hate these frigid temps!! Hate them, hate them, hate them. But just have to deal with it I guess. At least it's supposed to start warming up a little today. Real heat wave of 36 degrees.
Stay warm.

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FISHINGLADY66 2/3/2011 4:43PM

    Great Pictures Pat. Looks like my place. Thanks for sharing. I don't like all this snow.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I hate snow & cold too. BRRR. I really need to get out of Iowa.. emoticon

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    LOL about your little yorkie wanting a path cleared for him, too funny!! We haven't had snow yet, just cold. Nothing compared to what your experiencing! We are suppose to get some snow tonight. Wonder if our weiner will be able to clear the snow :-)

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