Saturday, November 8, 2014

Post Season Stuff

Most people organize their year chronologically from January to December, with some benchmarks like birthdays, holidays, etc, and seasons refer to changes in the weather.
Our year runs on a training calendar and seasons have some very different meanings. "Race season" is the most critical time of year, then there's pre-season and post-season.  Roughly, that mean January through spring is pre-season, late-spring and summer make up race season, and post-season is fall till the end of the year.
Each season requires something different as far as training and exercising goes. Pre-season is where we start build milage to make sure we're ready for racing. This is when we spend a lot of time on our bikes, running, and swimming to build endurance.
 Of course, race season focuses on being in tip top shape for races.  Just enough training and resting to keep our body fresh enough for the races, without falling out of shape, but without overdoing it to make us tired or burnt out for racing, making sure to not get injured, and building for our A races (or most important races) wherever those fall in the season.  This is also when we try to get to our lowest weight of the year, dropping any extra weight, even some muscle mass, to allow us to carry the least amount of weight through all those long race miles.  Race season training usually involves several "training races" designed to help prepare us for our A race.  For example, last summer we did a half marathon in July to assure us that we'd be ready for the half marathon that we'd be running at the end of the 70.3 in September.

And now it's post-season.  My favorite part of post-season is the first 3-4 weeks, which is when I take a break! This year, that meant after my last bike race at the end of September, I got to relax! I told myself, I will only do what I feel like doing.  If that's doing absolutely nothing, fine! If I want to go for a bike ride for fun, sure.  If I feel like swimming, go for it.  If running sounds nice, perfect.  But, nothing is forced, and there's no guilt! My break even culminated in a week long vacation to San Diego (maybe that deserves a post of its own...) where the only exercise I did was walking around Sea World and the San Diego Zoo.  (There was one run on the beach, per Tyler's request.)
After that nice break, it was time to get into post-season training. For me, this is a time to work on technique, such as with swimming.  My friend, Suzy, is a great swim coach, and instead of swimming for distance, I'm mainly doing drills to perfect my stroke and make me more efficient in the water.  It's also a time to build muscle, so that I am strong when the milage does increase, which will help prevent injuries as we get closer to race season, and will give me the strength I need, even when I start dropping some of that mass.  Lastly, I use this time to do whatever needs to be done to prepare me to be safe for race season, which this year, means taking a real break from running.
As you know, my feet, specifically my arches, and right big toe were injured most of last season, making training miserable.  It's really frustrating to need to be ready to run 13 miles when running 2 miles kills! In fact, I hardly did any running during last race season, as every run seemed to make my toe hurt worse.  Races were just run in faith that my foot would hold out and my cardio strength would carry me through the running.  Since then, I've been kinda running on and off, taking a quick break, just long enough to make me assume I was healed, then starting slowly again.  Which usually turns into me thinking that I'm really healed, getting overly excited, going for a longer run, eventually feeling the same old pain creep back in, and realizing it was too soon, and starting the process all over again.  The last time this cycle occurred, Tyler forced me to face reality when he told me I would never heal if I kept this up and I'd end up having another race season like the one I just had.  I can not let that happen again, it was horrible! He told me it was time for a real break, and that it would be better to take a real break now, get healed up for real, then start fresh with no injuries. After some arguing, and working through all the stages of grief, I finally made it to acceptance, and I haven't run since.  It's tough, and I worry that I'll be a weak runner next season, but nothing is worse than dealing with chronic injuries!
So, since running is off the table, my time is spent swimming, weight lifting, and biking.  Especially biking! You see, things are getting thrown off a little this year.  For the first time, we are on an official bike race team, SBR Cycling, to be precise.  And bike race season starts in the warmer climates of St. George and Arizona in January, and stretches all the way into September! That's one heck of a race season! So as far as cycling training goes, things have to get bumped up a little.  We're already in pre-season frame of mind, with trying to both build muscle and build some milage.  In fact, today we did a 70 mile ride.  Our first race is less than 100 days away, so it's time to get focused.

In summary, the post-season break was great. The loss of running has been accepted, and now I spend 20 minutes everyday doing foot strengthening exercises, and massaging and icing the bottom of my foot.  My swimming technique is getting better thanks to weekly swim lessons with Suzy.  Hitting the gym 4 times a week is a must. And biking, biking, and biking as long as it's warm enough to ride outside, then we bring it indoors with spin classes and the bike stationary trainer.  Ah, I do enjoy how the seasons change...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

70.3 Race Story

The alarm went off at 5:20 am. I was nice and cozy in my sleeping bag with 4 blankets wrapped all around me, but I could feel how cold the outside air was and I had no motivation to expose myself to that.  We had pitched our tent right next to T2 and the finish line the night before, so we would be able to sleep in as long as possible before having to get up to start eating and setting up T2.  Even though the race wouldn't start till 8 am, they opened up the transition zones at 6 am so you can get your gear all situated.
5:45 am rolled around and I could hear more cars around so I knew it must be time to get up.  The only problem with camping the night before the race is that you don't get to enjoy the normal luxuries that could usually aid your race day prep: a real bed, a toilet, a fresh breakfast.  So, we got up and made the quarter mile trek to the public restrooms at the park.  I was still in my sweats, but it was freezing outside! My socks were becoming soaked from the frosted grass, and I was starting to lose feeling in my extremities.  Soldiering on, we dropped off our running gear at T2, which is where you transition from biking to running, then picked up our timing chip (an anklet that keeps your time and is vital to receiving an official time) and got marked (meaning having our race number, age, and race distance sharpied onto our shoulder and calves).  By now, it was starting to get late, and I figured I couldn't procrastinate getting into my race suit.  The thought of it was dreadful considering my race suit was a breathable tri tank top and a pair of skin tight tri shorts, perfect for the heat we'd be running in later, but not nearly warm enough for such a cold morning.  After that, the only thing left to do was ride our bikes the mile and half over to T1 and the start of the swim.
The ride over was torture and I thought for sure frostbite was eating away at my fingers and toes.  (Ok, it was only about 37 degrees, but I was colder than I had felt in months!) "No way I'm getting in the water! Nope, I won't do it.  I'll get hypothermia if I jump in there"
My T1 was set up, with my bike hanging from the rack with my helmet and sunglasses set on top so I could slip them on easily, my biking shoes and socks were laid out ready to put on in a rush.  But I just sat on my towel thinking about how much I didn't want to do this.  And I wasn't the only one, even the race referee was surprised at how chilly the water was, though he ensured us it would feel warm compared to the air!  Each step along the way, I thought to myself, "Ok, I'll do that, but I am not starting this race". Ok, I'll put my wetsuit on, but I'm not getting in the water! Ok, I'll go touch the water, but I'm not putting my head in.  I'll put my swim cap and goggles on, but I won't warm up. Fine, I'll warm up in the water, but I'm not starting the race.
10 seconds to start!
Ok, I'll start swimming, but I'm calling a safety kayak if I get too cold... And just like that, my race had begun!
I know I'm not a strong swimmer, so I had felt just fine letting all the flailing arms and kicking legs get out ahead of me before I attempted to choose my line.  When I did start I saw a few other "white caps" (the starting groups are distinguished by the color of their swim caps, my group was white, next was yellow) still behind me, and my goal to not be the last one out of the water looked somewhat achievable.
My mantra for the day was "My race, my pace" and needed to start that now to avoid getting caught up in swimming faster than I could handle, only to have to slow way down to catch my breath.  One buoy passed, just keep swimming...another buoy passed.  Now I started seeing yellow caps passing; my race, my pace.  I can see the big red arch on the shore of the lake, and I know I'm almost done with this swim.  I was feeling great at this point, especially since this swim had been the point of such anxiety for me just an hour earlier.  
Those last few strokes onto the shore always seem so difficult.  Finally my hand hits the sand and I drag my heavy body out of the water.  It would be ideal to sprint up the sandy hill to the transition area, but the sand was so soft and my feet were so cold that a slow walk was all I could muster. 
T1 is the more intense of the two transitions; this is where I strip out of my wetsuit, put on my socks and biking shoes after trying to get the majority of the sand off my feet, put my helmet and sunglasses on, and jumped on my bike. I had made the quick decision to not put on any warm clothes assuming that once I dried off I'd be plenty warm. 
The bike ride started off without a hitch...other than that it was COLD! Imagine, I'm soaking wet in less than 50 degrees, and the wind from being on the bike is making it feel colder than that! My hands and feet were numb, but I tried to stay positive by telling myself to savor the cold cause I'll be dying from heat later. 
It was at this point in the race that fueling became especially important.  My plan was to take a bite of something every 10 minutes. No exceptions. It is important to start eating early on and regularly so your body never goes into a deficit, but maintains a constant level of energy that will sustain the 5+ hours of activity still to come. The bike route was to be three loops around the reservoir we had just finished swimming in, so I was making a mental note to remember important land marks, i.e. hills that would challenge me later, good down hills where I could rest and stretch on my bike, straightaways that would be good for grabbing food.  
The first loop went by easily.  I remained focused on my mantra (my race, my pace); on my fueling, which helped the time to pass quickly; and on counting the number of people who passed me and who I passed, just to give my brain something to do. 
I noticed as I passed a pull off just off the water, a crew of search and rescue divers, and I was happy to see something exciting on my ride.  I wondered what hidden treasure they might be searching for.  But, I didn't think too much about it because I was just entering the part of the loop that was a little too dangerous for my liking.  A winding road with traffic going at high speeds in both directions, and hardly any shoulder.  Combine that with the wind and fatigued riders, and you have a recipe for disaster. I concentrated during this section and that's when I noticed something new.  I had feelings in my hands again! I noted that my feet were still numb, but not from cold, now they were just numb from my riding shoes.  I felt excited at the thought that I was feeling warm now, but dreaded the heat I'd be facing during the run.  
Last loop.  About 3 hours in to the total race. I ran a mental scan: body was feeling good, other that the saddle soreness that was to be expected, energy was high and seemed to be maintaining a good level, stomach wasn't bothering me even with all the energy foods I'd been eating, head wasn't feeling great.  Luckily, I had prepared for this and had a very specific time appointed to take individually wrapped Tylenol I had gotten from the gas station the night before, specifically for it's special packaging. But, not yet, I had to save it.
I passed that pull off again and noticed there was now a couple ambulances and firetrucks. I felt intrigued and saddened as I had the ironic thought that while I might always remember this day as the day I pushed my limits and lived life to the fullest, someone else might remember this day as the day a life was lost. I didn't ever pass that spot again and I don't know what happened there that day. 
Soon, I hit mile 50, and my head was pounding and my body was starting to ache.  Now.  Now was the moment to take to pain killer, early enough to prevent myself from crashing, but late enough that it would be in full effect through the run and in the hour or so after the race when I would be in a lot of pain.  These two capsules were invaluable to me in this moment.  My biggest fear was that I might drop them as I tried to swallow them, and thus crush my spirits and hopes of any relief from the pain. To prevent that, I carefully tore a corner off the package, then stuck the entire thing in my mouth only pulling it out as I could maneuver the pills out of the wrapper. Worked like a charm!
56 miles was right around the corner, signaling the end of the bike portion. Excitement and anxiety consumed me. Oh, how I couldn't wait to not be sitting on this bike seat! But, oh, no, the run.  I'm already so tired, my legs are feeling heavy, how can I possibly START a half marathon (13.1 miles), much less run for over two hours to finish the race!?  
But, wait, I'm still so far from the end of this loop.. This is going to be way more than 56 miles! What the hell? I was feeling furious at the race director who must not realize how much pain 56 miles causes and how disheartening an extra few miles feel at that point. Not to mention, I was kinda on a strict schedule here! I was exactly on pace to allow myself 2 and a half hours for the run in order to achieve my lofty 7 hours or less goal time.  An extra five miles on the bike could literally be the difference in under 7 hours or slightly over it. 
I noticed a girl coming close behind me and looked back at her, surprised at how close she was to my wheel considering drafting is illegal in triathlons. The rule is you have to either stay a certain distance back from them, or pass the person quickly, otherwise it's considered drafting and is grounds for disqualification.  Probably noticing me checking her out, she yelled "Hey, what mile are you at?" "59" I yell back.  "I thought this was supposed to be 56 miles! What's with that!" "Tell me about it", happy that I'm not the only one suffering from the added milage.   
I recognized this lady as someone I had passed earlier in the bike ride.  I recognized her because she was wearing a LOTOJA jacket from the race that had taken place the weekend before.  Man, she's still on my wheel, I thought.  I wasn't surprised, the LOTOJA jacket told me she was used to riding for long distances in groups where drafting is a great energy-saving strategy.  But, obviously she didn't realize that it's totally uncool in tri's! Now it's not like her drafting off of me was hurting me in any way, I was just annoyed that she was illegally enjoying this free ride, when everyone else was working their butt off individually to finish the ride! Finally, I yelled "If you're going to draft, you better take a turn pulling!" Meaning be the one in front while I draft off of her, which I wouldn't actually do, I just wanted her to get the point that I wasn't going to pull her the rest of the way in.  She got the message and jumped ahead saying, "Jump on, I'll try to keep the pace up."  I wasn't "jumping on" of course, and I really wanted to give her a brief lecture on triathlon regulations with an added quip that "I'm not about to get myself disqualified after 60 miles of riding", but I was so tired and it just wasn't worth wasting my energy on so much talking. 
FINALLY, after 61 miles! we finished the bike section! Now, I couldn't let my mind get going too much because I knew the dread ad anxiety of the run would overwhelm me.  I just had to go back into that state from earlier that morning.  Just run into the transition zone.  I've practiced this a million times: unbuckle the helmet while running, hang the bike, biking shoes off, running shoes on, belt on, eat. Running gear at T2 for me consists of my running shoes already laced and tied to save as much time as possible, and race belt where my race number hangs and I have a pouch full of food. I also had an extra rice ball sitting out so I could eat it first off on the run to reload some salt into my system, as I was loosing so much salt through sweat that cramps become a major concern.  
Bad idea to have the rice ball out. It was so hot from sitting in the sun all day that the rice, miso, and seaweed had all mushed together in one big mess.  The only way to eat it was to try to peel the wax paper (which had also melted into the seaweed) off it and suck it all off the paper as it mushed all over my fingers and face.  Huge mess! But, whatever, I needed the salt.  And boy was it salty.  I had made the batch of rice extra salty by adding extra salt into the water when it cooked, then added extra miso for additional salt and protein, then yet again wrapped the rice in extra seaweed to add one last kick of extra salt. This all combined to form a messy, insanely salty mush that reminded me of accidentally drinking ocean water, forcing me to gag it down.  "I need the salt." "It's worth getting in me to prevent the cramps" "It'll be worth it to have the extra salt". Yuck.  Fortunately I had saved my delicious ProBar energy chews for the run, so I was able to quickly replace the flavor in my mouth.  
I would continue my one chew every ten minute routine to keep me energized for the remaining 2+ hours of running.  However, I decided to add an extra aspect to this schedule by setting the goal to take a bit at each aid station, which would be situated at every mile.  This would mean at each mile marker, I'd get to take a bite, get a drink of water, sports drink, or Coke (Oh, thank heaven for Coke), and walk for about 30 seconds while consuming all this.  But this would mean that instead of the time determining when I got to eat, it would instead be based on how fast I make it through that mile.  
The run course was just a simple out and back, 6.5 miles out, then turn around and just make it back.  This course was the same for each of the race distances going on that day (Sprint with a 5k run; Olympic distance with a 10k run, and our half distance with the half marathon run).  The first 1.5 mile went by quick and I passed the turn around for the Sprint distance runners.  Dang, I wished I was doing the Sprint distance. I decided to make that my next race.  Man, I thought, a sprint would be so easy! I'd be done so fast! What I would give to be turning around now! But, no, I still had...12 miles to run!! It's thoughts like that that kill you. That realization only led to the discouraging thoughts that I would never finish this race. There's no way I can run thirteen miles right now. I'm so tired, my legs are sore, and now I'm getting hot! I comforted myself by telling myself, "Just make it to 6.5 miles, then you'll just have to run it back in."
My mantra was still in my mind, My race, My pace, but by now, I seemed to be passing more people than were passing me.  Apparently most people struggle with the run at the end, and compared to a lot of others, I was actually looking pretty good.  Then annoying, drafting, LOTOJA-jacket girl passed me.  Erg, I didn't like her, with her thick, wavy hair bouncing around.  Who runs with their hair down!? 
My race, my pace.
My race, my pace.
Enter a new mantra and the one and only goal for the run: PREVENTION
Right now I needed to focus on preventing a major "bonk", I couldn't afford a drop in energy, or worse case scenario, heat stroke.  Fueling would be so important throughout this run, and I was doing great with that.  But I needed to be very careful to stay well hydrated with both water and energy and electrolyte-filled sports drinks. And I needed to try to stay cool.  Remember how frozen I was earlier? "Was that really just this morning?" "I wonder if it's possible to have hypothermia and heat stroke on the same day? That'd be ironic." So, to prevent over heating, I made sure to grab an extra cup of water at every aid station to dump over my head and face.  
I found humor in the irony. Earlier, upon getting on my bike, I just wanted to hurry up and dry off so I wouldn't be so cold. Now I was dumping water on myself every few minutes to stay cool.  Gotta love triathlons.  
After just a few miles, annoying, drafting, LOTOJA jacket-wearing, hair down running girl stopped at a port-a-potty and I saw that she had to stop and wait for someone else to finish as I ran passed her. HA! Karma! Try passing me again now! (In fact, I don't ever remember seeing her pass me again, nor did I see her on the return run, which led me to believe that she must have just been an Olympic distance racer. No wonder she had so much energy. Only, later, at the awards ceremony, I saw that she placed in her age group for the Half distance! Shady, or what! Cheater?...maybe..Oh well, I guess I'll never know.)
One step after another, the minutes ticked on, and the miles {slowly} passed by.  So slowly. In fact, at one point I considered the possibility that my watch was malfunctioning because time was moving so slowly, and when I was sure I must have run almost another full mile, I looked down to see that only 3 minutes had passed.  More discouragement.  "Will I even finish this race?"
On and on it went, with only the mile markers to discern the passage of time.  Thank goodness for those aid stations with their water and Coke.  For anyone who knows me, you know I never drink soda. I hate it, I hate the carbonation, and the sugar, yuck! But, for some reason, Coke is the...well..coke of endurance athletes during a big race.  Something about the right mixture of ingredients to really ward off getting muscle cramps and hitting a wall.  It sure worked for me! 
Finally, FINALLY, I made it to the turn around point. I had a burst of energy when I realized how close (comparatively) I was, and I thought for the first time, "I'm actually going to finish this thing!" 
Still being cautious to fuel right, hydrate, and keep cool, I felt in a pretty good groove. This was probably to closest to a "runner's high" I would feel for the day.  I passed an aid station and poured water on my back and shoulders, which were feeling especially hot at the moment.  Oh, no. Water dripped into my armpit... I really hope that doesn't chafe.  As if on cue, 5 minutes later, I feel the chafing start in that wet armpit.  "Ugh! Be careful, Kelsey!" Not that a little chafing would stop me now, but I really don't need any other discomforts at the moment.  It turns out that even the slightest discomforts, compounded after hours of continuous working makes for BIG PAIN.  Like the last bits of sand left on my feet after the run from the water to T1. Now it felt like a huge pile of sand right under the ball of my foot causing big blisters.
Who cares, I'm so close! 
By now, almost 6 hours in to this torture, my vision was blurry and I was starting to feel kinda dizzy.  At one point, I looked over the little ledge of the running path to see a stream going under it, but I seemed to lose my balance and almost fell over. I decided enjoying scenery was off the table, and to focus only on the few feet in front of me for these last 40 or so minutes. 
40 minutes! I was under an hour! Less than an hour and I'm done! Another burst of energy, soon to be followed by the thought that 4 miles is still so far and I'm, oh, so, tired. 
Passed mile 10! Into the double digits, alright! New mantra: 5k, it's just a 5k, I can do a 5k. 
I can do a 5k.
I can do a 5k.
Mile 11.
"I can run 2 miles"
"I can run 2 miles"
"No matter how tired I am, I can run 2 miles"
"This is the longest mile of my life"
Mile 12. 
So close! Last bite of these now-disgusting energy chews. 1 mile left.  I checked my time and realized that I was going to make it in under 7 hours if I kept this pace. Wow, just 10 more minutes and I'll not be running any more.  All I could think about was the BBQ waiting at the finish (I don't even eat meat, and the BBQ sounded good!).  I also remembered that our tent was still set up.  "Oh, I could go in there and just lay down. Yes, I will love to just lay down and sleep"
"Ok, now this is the longest mile of my life."
I can hear the loud speaker. I round the last turn....Where is the finish arch!?! I thought I'd see it when I made that turn.. If I can't see it now, then can't run that far...It's too far...  My eyes start to water as I decide this is just not doable.  
Did I mention before how these endurance feats are more of a mental game than a physical race? Yes, it's in the moments like these that I have to be stronger mentally than in any other way. 
"It's so close, keep running, I'm almost there, I'll make it, it will be worth it. So close. So close. So close."
Then I see the cones. I see people standing on the sides. I see the arch. "I WILL DO IT!" 
Then I see the big clock: 6 hours, 36 minutes and counting... "Wha..?! I'm way ahead of schedule! I made awesome time! I'm amazing!"
Then I see my medal, I see the kids at the finish ready to put it around my neck and take my timing chip. 
Then I see Tyler.  I hear him yelling my name. I hear the loud speaker announcing: "FROM OREM, UTAH, FINISHING THE HALF DISTANCE, KELSEY REDD!!"
Tyler hugs me and I try to stay standing.  It's not till I see Tyler's watering eyes that tears well up in my own eyes.
We did it. 
We did it. 
We did it. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

21 hours and 29 minutes....

....that's how long we have until we will hear the sound of the gun fire to begin our first 70.3! (1.2 mile swim; 56 mile bike; 13.1 mile run, or a half ironman distance)

I guess I'm a little backwards, usually these blogs are started at the beginning of the training and describe the path to race day.  Well, race day is tomorrow!

We signed up for this race last November. Once you register for something like this, it doesn't leave your mind.  You can try to postpone to all-consuming thoughts as long as possible, but they're constantly in the back of your mind.  We had a great summer schedule that included several "training races".  Things didn't exactly go according to plan as I developed a pretty bad arch injury that prevented me from running more than about a mile without extreme pain.  Imagine running with a broken big toe...In fact, that's what I thought it was, and I figured it would just heal itself eventually, that's reasonable, right?  It wasn't until I went to the physical therapist for a completely unrelated issue (sprained back from a skiing accident, haha!) that I mentioned my sore toe and he discovered a whole treasure trove of scar tissue that had developed from continuing to run when the tendons in my arch were so tight.  Well, long story short, after a lot of physical therapy, rest, massage, and frustration, I was able to work up to running about 60 minutes again (with 30 second walking intervals dispersed in there).  Needless to say, this summer was filled with a little too much disappointment, and too few races than I would have hoped for.

In our build up, we did run one half marathon, Star Valley Half Marathon, which was great fun.  We love that race for the beautiful landscape and the enthusiastic participants. I had hoped to not be so injured for that race, but Tyler and I both did pretty well considering our lack of preparation.  Tyler even picked up another trophy for placing in his age group.  Earlier, he had collected a cash prize for coming in 3rd overall in the Lavender 5K (I scored a silver medal for my age group).  But those two races were our only running races of the season.

We've gotten more into biking this year, and that has seemed to be our focus throughout the summer. Early in the season, I completed a torturous 65-mile, women-only bike race where I faced hurricane-like weather. Since then, we have spent many a Tuesday nights on group rides with the SBR cyling group, which has done a lot to improve our technique and ability.  In fact, we've fallen so much in love with cylcing, especially with this team, that we have signed up to join their race team for the upcoming season.  Our biking accomplishments were topped off last weekend where we placed fifth in our category at the LOTOJA (a 206-mile race from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, WY which we did in a 5 man relay team).

And that brings us up to date.  Our last big race of the season. What we've been thinking about and preparing for (although less than adequately) for the last several months.  It is amazing to me how this goal has consumed every aspect of my life.  In the last week, my thoughts sound something like this: What should we have for dinner tonight, well we are 6 days out, what does my body need 6 days out...How many miles should I train today, well, we're 5 days out, how long will it take to recover from any given activity....Should I go jump on the trampoline right now, well, we are 4 days out from race day and if I land wrong I could have a sore ankle....Should I stay up late tonight watching TV, well race day is 3 days away, I should start stalking up on sleep now....2 days til race day, time to change the types of carbs in my diet...How much beet juice should I drink...Gotta go buy and cook some food to fuel with throughout the race...  The list could go on and on.

This is what I love about this sport. The commitment, the dedication, the drive, the fear and dread, and the pride and joy.

This is what I've been preparing for. This is the moment I've been waiting for. And this is the opportunity to see how far I can push my body.

Race Day Tomorrow, wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Moab Trip Oct 2013

(Check this out! Just found this is my Draft Post list! Score!)

Sunrise at our campsite

Heading into the Sandflats area, to go mountain biking at Slickrock bike trails....'s also a popular place to do some off-roading

(more mountain biking to come)

Mill Creek Hike

Hike up to Corona Arch

blogging revamp

It has now been officially been 1 year and 4 weeks since my last blog post.

I've neglected to share any news from our first year of living in Utah, including: Tyler's entire career at CHA (the job we moved here for), my completing my Masters Degree, my 3 months of unemployment, the first 6 months at my first real, professional job, Tyler's switch into high school math teaching, life next door to my sis and my favorite two nephews, (oh yeah, the birth of my newest nephew), our winter skiing/snowboarding adventures, our latest obsession with biking and triathlon training (that's not new though), a few great weeks spent with family, and the purchase and renovation of our first {real} investment property....  Anywho, it wasn't too exciting anyways, and now you're up to date, so we can move on.

I called this a revamp because I plan on changing directions with the purpose of this blog (especially since I don't seem to be accomplishing any purpose with it currently).  I'd like to create this blog as a training journal.  Because we seem to devote so much of our lives to training for various races and activities, I feel like it'd be nice to record my thoughts about that aspect of our lives somewhere.  Also, lately, we seem to be in a bit of a slump as far as motivation goes, and we've decided we need to attach some meaning to all of our training efforts. Something to make it feel worthwhile and valuable; something bigger than ourselves to drive us when our eyes are tired and our bodies are aching. And this blog will, hopefully, help us to create that meaning we are looking for.

So, there's the intro.  First training post on its way..