Monday, August 24, 2009

You know what really grinds my gears?

When people are outside on their bicycles at 6am, when its still dark, and you can't see them until they are right on top of you.

Last Wednesday, I went for my morning run at 6am. On my way to the park behind our development, I saw a black shadow coming towards me (I couldn't really see that great without my glasses). I finally determine its a cyclist:

- On a black bike
- Wearing black cycling clothes and a dark helmet
- With no headlamp or tail lamp
- All reflectors had been removed off the bike

She did have a reflective piece of fabric on her messenger bag, which was on her back. She was riding on the road *against* traffic. I don't know how much more irresponsible you can get. They have recently passed a law in Colorado that if you're going through a tunnel on a bicycle you are required to have a head and tail lamp. Why on earth would you not have this equipment when the sun doesn't rise for another 20+ minutes???

In other news, I swam last week for the first time in almost three weeks. Amazingly, I took a minute off my time, bringing me under the 25 minute mark required for the swim. I swam it in 24:12, which gives me 48 seconds to get out of the pool and run to T1. I think that might be cutting it a bit too close. I really pushed my arms the last 75 meters this last time, which appeared to make all the difference. Perhaps if I work up to pushing the last 150-200 meters or so, I can shave some more time off. I still have 2 1/2 weeks to work on it.

I also went for a long bike on Sunday and averaged 15mph; not bad for my new bike. I'm debating going back to the Highline course and trying to tackle that hill again. Crazy? Probably, most definitely, yes. There is nothing like that on I-70 (at least that I could tell on the drive, the exit to cross over is obviously a hill, but probably the largest one on the course). It may be a good idea to face that demon though (the hill) before I tackle my next tri. I travel to Glenwood Springs for work at the end of next week and plan to jog at least some, if not all of the run course. I think after that I might treat myself to some Moe's. It's the only location in Colorado.

Finally, I should know in the next couple of weeks where my training will be later on this year. I really don't think I'll be ready for the Moab Half Marathon my October, so I guess my first choice is now Seattle. It was fun when we were up there last year; I wouldn't mind 2 1/2 more weeks in Washington.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hello, Internet

When I logged into Blogger today, it shows I haven't made a post since July 13, 2009. I know that Liza had left me a message asking "what's new" and I had a whole bunch to say, but just didn't really have the motivation.

My mom died a little over a week ago. She had been sick for quite some time; but as prepared as you think you can be, you can never be ready. My dad is heart broken, as they would have been married 42 years this October. She was only 65; I never expected to have to bury my mother at such a young age.

I had been traveling from my home on the Western Slope to the Front Range of Colorado to visit her and my dad. While I want to say I kept up with my regimen while I was there, I failed miserably. I did take my new bicycle* up there this last time, but only got on it once for a total of 19 miles. I ran three times up there as well, but with everything going on. . .well, to quote a country song, "My give a damn's busted."

I got home on Thursday and realized the race I wanted to enter was yesterday. I could sign up online through midnight and still get the early registration rate. I had decided not to enter the race, given the overall exhaustion of the last two weeks. I hadn't even gone out for a run in 10 days! But, M talked me into it and I signed up via I needed to get in a training run anyway.

Now, just two weeks ago I went for a 5 mile jog and was able to go the whole distance without stopping. I had finally pushed through that mental block and knew if I could just get through the first two miles, I was golden. I guess when you don't run for 10 days those mental demons come back with a vengeance. Nothing seemed to go right yesterday; people were cranky for trivial reasons in line to get their race numbers. The race started 10 minutes late because of a flooded spot on the course. No matter how slow I went, once my heart rate went up I couldn't get it to come back down. I struggled the last half of the race and ended up finishing last. I guess I was so far behind everyone else that when I made it to the finish they were already handing out the awards for both races (there was a 5K and a 5 mile, which is the one I did).

Now I know what you're thinking, I finished and that is the important thing. While this is true, I thought I had made some progress against those mental demons telling me to walk instead of run. I also realized yesterday (hopefully not too late) I really need to do some hip work to strengthen those joints. Finally, I think I may need new running shoes. I've had mine for a year now and estimated they have about 250-300 miles on them. It doesn't sound like much, but I felt a thin spot under the ball of my foot that gave me another indicator its time for new shoes. I believe there is a local running store in my town, so I will head over there next week.

I hope to get back into the swing of things with training and the blog this week. There are four weeks to go until Tri Glenwood. God help me now.
*Yes, I bought a new road bike. I will post about her later in the week (and yes, it's a girl).