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! WooHoo....my 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!
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!
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!
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
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