UPCOMING EVENTS for 2015: (Under consideration) BigHorn 50K, North Carolina/DC Marathon Doulbe, TURNING 50 (not in that exact order).

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure.
This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, triathlete, and *sigh* student.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Grady Williams Redueax. Race Report.

NOTE added 7/20 If you're reading this because a guy named Jeff linked to this race report and was freaking over this race, just ignore him, and move on. He loves to start trouble.

One year ago today I showed up for a little triathon called the Grady Williams Freedom Days Triathlon. In case you weren't around then, follow this link to read about it.

It's the only letter of complaint I've ever written, to USAT and the Farmington Champber of Commerce. In return, the race director accused me of being rude to volunteers, when, in truth, I never got to meet the volunteers. I became lost, along with the other Athean, on the run course (the event is swim-run-bike) and never made it to meet most of them. I always make it a point to thank volunteers, because I want them to have good associations with athletes and racing. Which means that she seems to be seriously mistaken in her facts.

But anyway.

SO here's my take on the whole thing.

~~PROS:

1. There is some bee-u--tiful scenery on this course. On the bike, you get a look at Shiprock from a distance, and on the run, you're doing a trail run through the high desert.

2. Bling, bling, baby. The prizes are gorgeous hand-painted Navajo pottery, which you can see at the end of this post.

3. Small field. There were a little over 60 participants there this year.

4. The lake is great for swimming, calm with just the right temperature for a wetsuit swim, although there were a couple of people without one, and the walk into and out of the lake is easy and comfortable. They mark off each person leaving the lake to make sure nobody is left behind, and then they transport your stuff to the finish line in another location.

5. The trail run to T2 was kind of fun (this is a swim-run-bike course). Although it's advertised as an Olympic, with a 10K run, the run was short by about a mile.

6. They don't lie about the course. They say challenging, and it is. Here's a picture of the bike course (top) and the run course (bottom): It is as ugly as it looks. I walked a couple of the hills, because I ran up the side of a mountain with Pirate a couple days ago (more on that later). That was my fault. My legs were trashed.

7. Low race entry fee: $30.

~~CONS:

In the words of a local race director, this is an "industrial strength" race. Support is minimal. For instance, after my letter last year, it was promised that cones would be put out to mark the turns. They were not. They used the exact same chalk technique as last year. This year, most of it could be seen. Only one person I knew of got lost this time.

All aid stations(3 on the run, 1 on the bike) had clear water dispensers sitting in the sun, so the results is bathtub-temperature water. It was around 97 degrees out when I finished, and on the last 3 miles of the bike I started getting goosebumps and nausea that signals heat exhaustion, despite finishing off the three bottles of ice water I brought with me. For people who are out on the course for a long time, cold or even room temp water is useful for bringing down core temp. I've been informed by veteran triathletes that this race has always been this way.

Sweet Baboo thinks I'm going on about this too much, but the course markings and warm water really need to be remedied, because it's crazy dangerous not to.

My advice: If you want a challenge, x-terraesque with plenty of hills, and very cool Navajo pottery awards, then do this race. It draws some of the more talented athletes from Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and beyond.


and if you do...

  • Bring your own ice, food, sport drink and plenty of water; keep an ice chest at your transition area and perhaps even use a hydration pack for extra cold water. Only warm water is offered at the stops, and there's only one stop on the bike, despite more being indicated on the map they handed out.
  • Know the course. Course marshals may point you in the right direction or just watch you go by. One racer sailed right on by a corner marshall, who never got up to tell him to turn. Drive the bike course and walk the run course the evening before, to be familiar with it. Carry a garmin, just in case.

There. I finished. I feel that I essentially erased my DNF from last year. It's a shame, because this race could be so great!

RESULTS:
My finish time
: 4 hours and some change.
Sweet Baboo's finish time: 2:39. He placed first in his division. I was one of two athenas, so I placed 2nd.

Holy cow, my hubby is getting scary fast!

I'm considering being a volunteer at this race the next time Baboo wants to do it.

Meanwhile, we'll be shopping for a new "anniversary" triathlon to do. (Oh, yes, we will.)

...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's official: I've lost my mind.


Sweet Baboo has requested that I state for the record that he did not talk me into this. (He only helped me with the rationalizations after I signed up.)

Rationalization numero 1: What the hell, I'm going to be there anyway, right? I might as well give myself something to do while he and the rest of the Outlaws and blogger community are running amok doing their ironman.

Rationalization numero 2: If I do Ironman Louisville and have a sucky time, I'm going to want another crack at it.

Rationalization numero 3: If I do Ironman Louisville and have a great time, I'm gonna want to do it ragain.

Rationalization numero 4: I'll have ample opportunity to learn how to spell Cour C'Arlene properly.

...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Good News, Bad News, and random pics.

The Good News:
I'm sticking with my training plan, mostly. I did a six mile run today faster than I've ever done a six mile run. For some reason, although my Garmin was telling me my pace, it didn't record it. So you'll just have to take my word for it that it was around 11:30 or so per mile. Then I did a 2000 meter swim. Then I forgot my coffee. I'll sleep well tonight. But I'm happy.

The Bad News:
The conversation I had recently with an administrator at my school. This is the third time I've applied for the same position, which keeps opening up for various reasons, and it's the fifth application I've made for a counselor position at MY SCHOOL. Where I've been teaching For. FIVE. YEARS.

Me:
"I was wondering the status was on the school counselor position?
I sent in a letter of interest and resume last month, but never heard anything."

Administrator:
"Which counselor position? oh, you mean the one that was filled last week?"

$hit.
(Note to those of you with the R and NC-17 blog ratings: it is the substitution of symbols for actual letters that keeps the rating of my blog down...)

Random pics
As anyone with a new digital camera can attest, it is necessary to bore those around you with pictures from time to time. BTW, why is it that whenever you upload a picture to blogger it makes all the spaces between each paragraph double? Weird.

This is Maria "go-go" Ladd and hubby Mark. Maria is scary fast. She did IMAZ in twelve-something. Yeah. On the day that they shut down the Phoenix airport because of heavy winds, Marie was something like third in her age group. She's going to the 70.3 IM championship in Clearwater in November.


Mini-baboo demonstrates the requisite enthusiasm of 16-year-old at 6 am. Forgive his grumpiness. He hasn't had his coffee yet. Mostly because mama won't give him any. Anyway, he's 5'10" or so and around 190 pounds. He may qualify for Clydesdale soon if he doesn't get off his butt and start training.

On any given weekend, you never know what people are doing. While we were picking up our BSLT packets and racing around a Texas canyon, these guys were racing around land that their organization had purchased just for the purpose of dressing up as cowboys from the old west and running around with single action pistols. It's kind of cowboy creative anachronism.



Ah, the triathlon family. →
Eleven water bottles, 2 LARGE coffee cups, and an aerobottle.


...

msivonrpq

You may have noticed that I've started adding a note to my comments. on some of your blogs. Things like: Today's word: msivonrpq

I figured if I have to type it in, I'm going to share it. With everyone.
Annoying, isn't it?
Yep, it's annoying when I had to type if the first time. Hint, hint.

It's 5:25 am, and I'm headed out for a 6-mile runrun. Ironman training ramps up this week.

...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

How has exercise changed you?


So, the other morning I was sitting in the office of the director of my graduate program, fleshing out how exactly I was going to graduate and get the hell out of there before it's time for me to retire and I become the oldest graduate ever at New Mexico Highlands University.

I dragged out my internship far beyond the time in which I had met all the hours' required of me, but now it was time to go. If I don't graduate soon, I'll have to start retaking classes. Aieee!

My paper, which I'm currently writing and actually made an enormous headway on today (with the help of espresso and the background noise of what appeared to be an all day RENO 911 marathon) is on how exercise improves mental health, particularly depression and anxiety. Much of it will be supported with research findings, published case studies, et cetera.

However, in the last section of this paper, I'm given some lattitude in expression personal feelings. I would like to be able to include personal feelings of others about how training and working out has changed their emotional state.
SO, I have questions that I need answers to. The ideal person to respond to this would be the following:

1. You've started (or returned to) training and working out. In other words, it hasn't been your lifelong interest and lifestyle.

2. You have made some observation that working out, training, and exercise improved your anxiety and/or depressed feelings. In addressing this, you can answer the following: What is different now? What are you doing now that you aren't depressed, or anxious, that is different from when you were depressed or anxious?

In addition, I would like to know

1. How did you become involved in the fitness lifestyle? Did you decide on your own or were you partners with someone else who was in it?

2. How has this positively impacted your life?

3. What difficulties do you face in following through with exercise plans?

4. Has exercise made feelings of depression or anxiety worse?

5. How has this negatively impacted your life?

If I use your comments, you'll be referred to "JaneDoe1," and JohnDoe7" and so on,

and,

if you send me your answers, I'll take that as your willingness to participate.



And thanks!


...

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Luddite Sprint (Race report)

It was gorgeous, with little wind and even lots of CLOUDS. Here's my report on the Tri-Raider Sprint; I'll let the folks that did the long course do theirs. (Links below)


I have to say, "about" a lot because I brought 2 heart strap monitors for some reason, but not a single watch, and I still don't really know how to use my Cateye wireless, including resetting it. I suppose I could find out, but then I'd have to readdddd. From my tentative experiments, it's clear that there are at least three buttons involved. AARRRRrrrrrgggghhh.

This means that I didn't know how fast I was going, how far I had gone, how much time had gone by or how long I had to go. I just went when they said "go" and stopped when I saw a finish line. Which actually, is much more satisfying than one might think. You swim, you pedal, and you run, and you're not quite as obsessive as you usually are.

500 meter Swim
I've always counted to five when they they yelled GO! This time, however, I said to myself, "Screw 'em, if they have to pass me, that's their problem," and when the air horn sounded I ran in and dove. Last year, my swim didn't get recorded for some reason, so my T1 was the first time and listed as 17:43 for 2006. 2007 swim time: about 9 minutes. I've never done a swim that fast before. My 100 meter pace was 1:55

T1
here is a bit long - you have to run up out of the lake and around, strip your wetsuit, and run the entire length of the 70.3 transition area before mounting. Took me over 4 minutes.

17.4 mile Bike
The bike comes out of a long curved shoot, then a 90 degree left turn and head up the first hill, the same one I did a month ago at the Buffman and Squeaky. These are hills that climb up out of the canyon, and they are gut-wrenching, heart-pounding, throw-uppy kinds of hills. Cursing up out of your saddle kind of hills.
After you clear the first two, there's a slight upgrade, about 1-2 percent, and then you're out on a flat where there may or may not be wind. This year, there was a slight breeze, and CLOUDS. Oh, you KNOW I love me some clouds in a Texas triathlon!
I passed a few people on the bike, including one woman who seemed to take it personally because she passed me back. Then I passed her again, and she passed me back. Whatever. It wasn't like I was speeding up; she would pass me and then slow down. Finally she passed me at the top of the last hill and stayed ahead of me.

At some point on the sprint pros start blowing by and that's when you have your first brush with greatness for the day. Just after the turnaround I heard the WHHOO-WHHOO-WHHOO-WHHOO of a disk coming up behind me and was passed so fast that I could barely make out the "P" on the calf.
My bike time and average speed this year were about the same as last year, 14.7 mph for a bike time of a little over an hour for this 17.6 mile bike.

5K Run
This is mostly flat with a few knolls here and there. My pace last year was 13:20. This year it was about 11:40. The woman from the bike was about 50 yards ahead of me and kept looking back over her shoulder at me. WTF? We weren't even in the same division and I didn't know her. But what the hell. We were both pretty slow runners, but the chase was on, and it was reminicient of the chase scene in Seinfeld when they were on electric wheelchairs.
The pros and REALLY fast amateurs continue to blow by you on the run, as the first part of their run is our run.

One female ran by me so fast that she created wind. I'm not making this up. And that's your other brush with greatness.

Overall, I did it (the sprint) about 8 minutes faster than last year. I'm pretty pleased with that. Once again, I was the only Athena so I got the first place award. Mini-baboo did beat me this time, about 11 minutes, and characteristically lorded it over me, because it's a banner day when you, the sixteen-year-old Athlete, can beat your 42-year-old Mom.

After you're done, you get to walk back up that hill and put up your bike, being careful to stay over to the right because of the 70.3 folks careeing down the hill, and eventually have a cold beer and sit in the lake. Ahhhhh.

From my spot in the lake I could see the finish line on the 70.3 and could also walk about 10 yards and yell encouragement as they went out on the run. So, I could watch out for the peeps who were there with me, including Pirate, Debi, and of course, Sweet Baboo, who I KNEW was having a good race judging by the juiciness of the kiss I got on his way out to the run. Maria "Go-go" Ladd finished 4th in her age group in the 70.3 and got a slot to the national championships in Clearwater. Mike and Time had pretty good races. Pirate's beloved and Debi's hubby both did the sprint. There be Outlaws all over those courses today!

I didn't get to see Greyhound or Triboomer finish. I did, however, see them at the hotel
lounge later as Kona Shelly donned them with all manner of Canadian regalia. We missed his final performance of singing "Oh, Canada," though. I think she filmed it. There will be more on that here.

Shanna "Banana" Armstrong did this madness: She wore three timing chips. She did the swim for the 70.3, tagged off with someone for a relay, then ran and won the sprint, and then came back, tagged off with someone else, and did the 13.1 miile bike for the 70.3 relay again.

Pirate and Debi have both assured me that I can do this. I will do this. In two years, they will have their 20th annual Ironman 70.3 at Buffalo Springs, and Mini-baboo will have graduated from high school. I will do this. But not next year, because Sweet Baboo is doing Ironman Cour d'Arlane next year.

Next up: the BOTTOMLESS SPRINT TRIATHLON, home this year of the New Mexico State Team championship.

...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wish 'em luck

Like to give a shout out to the peeps who are doing Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 this weekend. This is a challenging half iron that I'm hoping to do some day. Sunday is not that day.



When you get a chance, if you haven't already, send them some

{{{{{{{comment love}}}}} Rumor has it that some of them are nervous.



Sweet Baboo

Tri-Greyhound

Pirate

Ironmaiden Debi, aka SW Tri-gal

aLSO: Mario "go-go," Mike M., Tim



If I've left you off the list, email me so I can put you on it!



Mini-baboo has decided to do the sprint. He and I will be doing the Tri-raider sprint which starts after the 70.3 start and finishes at the same place at the same time, and then hanging out in the lake and taking pictures.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

On carbs and kids.

For some reason I'm still ill in the mornings but better in the afternoon. And no, it's not THAT. This stinks, because it's really hot in the afternoon and I'd rather work out in the mornings.

In keeping with our new focus on NOT BONKING, EVAR, BECAUSE BONKING SUCKS, Sweet Baboo purchased for each of us a drink called "Carbo pro 1200" It's a bottled drink with 1200 calories in it. I'm expecting it to be sweet enough to crystallize my blood, but it might be okay, because we've used the powdered carb stuff and it's largely tasteless.

Sticky, as my handlebars can attest, but tasteless.

I'll be testing it this weekend at the Tri-raider sprint to see if it's something I want to use at IM Louisville. At 1200 calories and $14 per, I'll be chaining it to myself to make sure it doesn't bounced off before I get to drink it. I'll let you know how it works out.

16-year-old Mini-baboo will be present Sunday, but not racing, as we had not anticipated him being with us this weekend. It's just as well, because, (ahem) here's something I forgot to share earlier, even though it's a teachable moment for the young and arrogant, and a shining example of the a triumph of maturity and pacing over youth:

If you, the cross country runner and JV swim team member, lay around on your a$$ playing video games for several months in the off season despite warnings from your old, decrepit 42-year-old mother who doesn't know anything, there's every possibility that she will beat you in the Gallup Sprint Tri.

Yes, you read that right.

By over three minutes.

...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mostly just rambling about this weekend.

Dear Diary,

There was a brief moment of excitement tonight when I was at Sportz Outdoorz and ran into a fellow Outlaw Debi, who told me I was listed as a participant in the Buffalo Springs 70.3 this weekend. I was supposed to be signed up for the sprint.

I was there to purchase a two-piece swimsuit, which I will probably stuff in the back of a drawer, because even though Sweet Baboo never stops telling me I'm FABULOUS, and I practice telling myself lots of positive things, the tiny evil voice still whispers. Oh, how it whispers.
You know the one...it whispers different things to different people. In my case, it whispers things like, "C'mon, you're 42. You've had THREE KIDS. You can't wear a two-piece. You're the antithesis of 'firm'. It's not BIkini for you; it's TANKini, and that's just the way it is. "
And, since I can't airbrush my body in real life or photoshop it before going out in public, there it is. Love it or leave it. But anyway. I bought the damned thing. That's a start.

So anyway, I was signed up for a 70.3. I was all like, should I do it? should I do it? Sweet Baboo, of course, was like, "Hell, yeah, you could do it!" Because he thinks I'm wonderful and brave and can do anything, or else he's just very supportive, and, oh, heck, does it even MATTER why he said that? Even as I sucked down more fluids in order to make up for the dehydration of my 24-hour flu I was contemplating everything I knew about the course.

Two 70.3 races in one month. Hmmmm. Is that a reasonable thing to contemplate?

Finally, the question was put to the Jimmy, my coach, and he kind of sucked air through his teeth and then (and this is what I love about the man, his honesty) set about explaining as gently as possible why I should NOT. I've been ill. I've been dehydrated. Et cetera.

So, okay. A moment of sanity. I will do the sprint as originally planned. I don't know what I was thinking. I hate heat. I hate hills. Lubbuck has those in spades.

Now here's the really cool thing I found out this week: after rolling around and sleeping and feeling sorry for myself, I finally uploaded yesterday's run and found out that I'd done six miles with an 11:54 pace. Holy cow, I've never done 6 miles at a pace that fast before! Maybe there's something to this training thing after all...
.
So, next up: this weekend, the Tri Raider Sprint. It's on Sunday. Baboo is doing the 70.3. I will finish the sprint and float in a cold lake while he (and Pirate, and Debi, and several of our other Outlaw friends) finishes the 70.3.

I may even wear the two-piece. Go, me!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Things I just happen to know today.

It's a testament to my resolve to be fit that, even though I felt certain this morning that I would certainly hurl at some point later in the the day, that I decided to hurry up and get my workouts out of the way before the throwing up commenced. In the past, I wouldn't have done that. Go, me.

So, I did a swim with assorted drills and then a trail run. I'd planned the run so that I could run 6 miles and then walk a cool-down half mile and enjoy the morning. However, there was a very large, determined fly that wanted to bite the CRAP out of my calf and hamstring. I couldn't disuade it. I finally took off running, and as I ran I could see the fly's shadow buzzing around my legs trying to find a place to land so it could bite me some more. I finally outran the little buzzing bastard after about a quarter mile. So now I know that this is what I've come to in my quest for speed: I can outrun insects.

I also know now that those calluses I paid those Asian ladies to scrape off my feet? Yeah. Turns out I needed those. Now I have to grow new ones. Meanwhile: ouch.

Then I went to belly dance class and now I know that if you are trying to hold a stomach virus at bay and be in deep denial about the whole thing, swiveling your hips and girating your belly does not make you feel better.

I also now know that, owing to his vow to share and share alike, Sweet Baboo has decided to share his recent stomach virus, thankfully the 20-hour variety, with me. Sweet Baboo is better, by the way. Now it's my turn. Yay.

For a few hours I was kind of out of it. I felt weak and dazed, just like in the last half of therun on a 70.3, so finally I weighed myself and realized I'd dropped 3 pounds since this morning. But my stomach would churn when I tried to drink anything except Red Stuff (see below). I've been peeing constantly, all day long. My body seems pretty determined to get rid of any and all fluids. I'm running a small fever, and I haven't sweated since late this morning, despite it being very warm out.

At least I'm not throwing up, or anything like that. I'm just aching and feeling queezy and confused, and feverish and weak. Sweet Baboo said I should be happy I don't have the whole throwing up thing that he had yesterday.
and I said, "Wow, you know what? I am happy. I was just sitting here, thinking about how happy I am. That's what I am, happy, happy, happy. Boy, am I happy!"

And he responded that I probably didn't have what he had because what he had didn't make him sarcastic.

Although, now at 9:31 at night, I am finally starting to feel better.
I now know that the cure for this particular stomach bug appears to be a combination of "red stuff" (Red zinger tea and cranberry juice), pistachio pudding, and the Daily Show/Colbert Report lineup.

I also know, thanks to Spokane Al, that my blog is safe for most of the family types out there. Unlike potty-mouthed Baboo. I may be sarcastic, but I'm not a potty mouth.

The more you know.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Long Run Sundays



Yesterday I returned to my Sunday long runs at the church of the bosque trail. On the dockett: 16 miles. I hadn't run that far since, like, JANUARY.

I didn't think it would be easy. I didn't think it would be hard. I didn't know what to think, especially since my debacle at Show Low, where 13 miles, um, over 4 hours...and was more of a labored, painful TRUDGE than a run...

I'm still working on my nutrition, et cetera. So I loaded up my hydration pack with about 55 ounces of prepared Nuun, 45 which I consumed.

Then I got the brilliant idea of putting 8 ounces of Apple-cinnamon hammer gel, about 6 which I consumed (more on that in a moment) into a water bottle. Prior to my run, I drank half a 450-calorie bottle of HEED. About three hours before the run, I ate two servings of oatmeal and a fruit cup.

To make short work of this post, I'll fast foward to the lessons learned.

1. Ohhhhhhh, THAT'S why I never ran that particular section of trail. It's full of soft sandy spots. motherf.........

2. If you try to use a 8-ounce water bottle as a gel flask, you have to do something to the spout, because it's not meant to let something as viscous as gel go through it. After squeezing in vain, I finally unscrewed the lid and gulped it down every couple of miles.
Which brings me to number 3...

3. No matter how much you like a particular flavor of gel, if you gulp it down for three hours, you'll learn to hate it.

Hate. It.

4. There's even more large piles of horse manure on dirt trails than there is on the paved trail. How come dog owners have to scoop, but horse owners can leave large presents for the rest of us to trip over willy-nilly? It's just as gross; it's just a smelly, and it's just as unlikely to wash awake in the rain we don't often get in the desert.

Anyway, I did 15.2 miles, in about 3:22. I started out at 5:55 am, having learned a lesson from Pirate and her "running on the sun" experience recentlyIt was gorgeous on the bosque pre-dawn. Quiet, peaceful, in the low sixties. Bunnies ran amok. It was in the upper eighties when I finished.

Today I rest from all things running and triathlon-like. My calf and a lot of my left leg is stiff from Saturday's race.

FYI: Sweet Baboo has fallen ill from some mysterious malady, and is home while I wait on him, feed him, and soothe his fevered brow. SHHHHHHHHHH. He's sleeping. He's such an angel when he sleeps...

By the way, any of you who are happy with fiddling with HTML, I found a place to get the codes to put symbolsin your text. Go here: http://www.bigbaer.com/reference/character_entity_reference.htm

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Galloping in Gallup (race report)

Today was the inaugural Gallup Adventure Sprint Triathlon in Gallup, New Mexico.
I will go ahead and say that my pre-race nausea was worse than usual, for several reasons:


1. It was at 6600 feet. Just like Show Low
2. I had "adventure" in the title. That CAN'T be good.
3. The bike course promised to be very hilly, with rubble strewn along the shoulder, outside the rumble strip, alongsid a well-traveled road. Just like Show Low.
4. The run would also be hilly. Just like - oh, you get it now.

So what I was thinking was that I was going to have Show Low PTSD and start having flashbacks on the course.

It would suck.

*I* would suck.

I would suffer.

and come in last. >Sigh.<


To add to that, when I did my hill sprints at the weekly Torture hosted by the Jimmy, I was slow and breathless. My legs wouldn't cooperate.
Then, the next day, I did a 4 mile run that was slow, oh, lordy, was it slow.

So, but, here I was. I had orders from the Jimmy to focus on nutrition, and also something about negative splits, so I decided to do that.
Nutrition breakdown:
Breakfast (5 am):
half sandwich, one serving of oatmeal, 1 fruit cup,, and 8 ounces of prepared Nuun.
Prerace (6 am): 16 ounces of some stuff by Hammer whose name I can't recall but it has 343 calories per serving.
On the bike: 16 ounces of Nuun, 2 gels. = 200 calories
One the run: full package of shot bloks, probably about 12 ounces of water = 200 calories
Total - 1289 calories. It's a start.
And it proved sufficient, I think, for this race.
The race was well organized with enthusiastic volunteers. The race director informed us that she herself had gone out and swept the course of the more dangerous debris. Hmmmm. maybe this wont' be so bad, I thought, right before I ran in for my 5th prerace pee.

The seeded swim start made me nervous, but I think I did well. For 345 yards, I did (I think) around 8:30? I don't know for sure because I forgot to push start on my watch. Up back, up back. And yes, we were given a map, in case we got lost somewhere in the pool.

T1: about 1 minute. I'm working on transitions, too.


The bike. I fitted the Rockette with her training wheels, having been warned in advance that there might be stickers, glass, et al., on the course. Her training wheels have Bontrager Hardcase racelights on them (KEVLAR, don'tcha know) as well as spinskins and all manner of thorn-proofing.
Well, in the first 50 yard I passed Cody trotting back toward transition with a flat tire. Ulp.
I had to really tell myself to slow down on the bike and not waste all my energy in the first few miles. It was 6.2 miles out and 6.2 miles back, and was almost all hills. But you know what? It wasn't so bad. I didn't get to enjoy the scenery so much because I was keeping a close eye on the course, looking out for rough patches (there were several) and trying to remember to drink my Nuun and eat my gels.
On one of the downhills, I was shifting into the big ring and my chain went up and over and onto my PEDAL. I started to hyperventilate, thinking, oh, crap, now I have to pull over and put it back on...but then I forced myself to CALM THE F%&K DOWN! I shifted back toward the small ring, and pedaled slowly, and the chain submitted.
It was slower going out than back, but even so, I focused on having a negative split.

Trip out: 33 minutes. Ouch!

Trip back: 24 minutes. Better.

T2: about 1 minute. Enough to swallow a couple of mouthfuls of that Heed stuff whose name I don't remember and then take off, forgetting my race belt.

Now, on the run, there's a bit of a climb, see.
I saw a hill coming up after the first mile, and I thought, well, that's not so bad.
It's short, at least.
But then the people head of me *turned* and THEN I saw the hill. HOLY SHMOLY! By the time I got near the top of this hill, which was easily an 8% grade or so and about a quarter mile long, I realized I was running about as fast as I could walk, so why was I wasting my energy? I walked the last 20 yards or so to the top, where there was a 2nd aid station. that's right: there were THREE AID STATIONS on a 5K? AWESOME.

The trip back down was easier, but I'd done a good job pacing and I was starting to wear down a bit. It finished on a track - not the ones you're used to working out on, but the ones that used to exist, packed sandy dirt with weeks and some muddy patches. My total run time was a dismal 35 minutes or so, but after all, there was that hill.

After the race, they fed the crowd burritoes, fruit.

Results:

  • Sweet Baboo - 1st Clydesdale, out of about 4, I think.
  • Mini-baboo - 3rdplace, 15-19 males
  • Me - 1st Athena, out of about 6, I think.
Then we went and bought some Hopi and Navajo pottery (if you are interested in such things - I'm talking to YOU Helen - this is the place to do it. They'll haggle.) I'd recommend this race. It's challenging but short, and everyone is really friendly, and they give you great food. Plus, it's a great place to do some pre-race or post-race shopping, if you like Native American jewelry and pottery and such.
...

Friday, June 15, 2007

What do you wish?

I wish cats didn't cought up hairballs. In the middle of the floor. Where I walk. And step on them, all cold and wet and gross, in the middle of the night.

Here are some other things I wish:

  • I wish I could have fried chicken without killing a chicken.
  • I wish everyone read to their kids.
  • I wish I were faster.
  • I wish the scones in coffee houses didn't have the nutritional value of an egg mcmuffin.
  • I wish I'd never smoked.
  • I wish I'd started running in high school.
  • I wish my Mom was still alive.
  • I wish mock meat was as common here as it is on the coast.
  • I wish my oldest son would go to college.
  • I wish my daughter would exercise more often.
  • I wish all religions practiced tolerance.
  • I wish I could call all my lost stuff, like I do my cell phone, and find it.
  • I wish there was a decent Indian food restaurant in the suburbs where I live.
  • I wish I could work full time as a mental health counselor without taking a huge pay cut.
  • I wish CD's didn't scratch.
  • I wish I could see around other people's cars.
  • I wish Conservatives would actually conserve, and that Democrats were more democratic.
  • I wish we spent as much money of the health and education of people as we do on war.
  • I wish I could turn the volume down on barking dogs.
  • I would I were more organized.
  • I wish people that thought understanding mathematics is as important as reading.
  • I wish I'd met Sweet Baboo much earlier than I did.
  • I wish summertime were longer.
  • I wish college wasn't so expensive.

I wish.

What do you wish?

...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bad thoughts.

I may actually finally finish an entire week of training plan without missing a workout. This is HUGE, and it will be the second time I've EVER done this, because I'm lazy.

No, that's not right. I wouldn't call someone else who pedals up hills in a 70.3 triathlon crying and swearing lazy. So, I won't call myself that.

To be correct, I get bored. I will often stop a workout because I'm so bored.

Anyhow.

I wanted to write about how some days I feel slow, and some days I feel fast.

Today was one of the former. Last night was one of the latter.


Tonight I did brick/interval workouts with hill repeats by the Jimmy with the gang. I never feel so impotent as when running hills. Pirate and Sweet Baboo and the others all sprint ahead of me, giggling and laughing and carrying on conversations that I'm too slow to hear...
and so I trudge along behind them at the speed of smell, showing up huffing and puffing long after they've finished and are doing their post sprint stretches. Bastards.


Oh, yes. I felt very slow tonight. Glacially slow.


But last night, thought, I felt fast. Pirate and I seem to have settled on a nice Tuesday routine, one that I enjoy: Tuesday night swim workouts at the nearly childless gym. I do pyramids. I swim pyramids.

So, ANYway, I felt like my arm turnover was faster. I felt faster. Of course, I wasn't wearing a watch; why wear a watch when you can be deluded as to how fast you are? I'm just sayin'. It also probably helps that I've actually BEEN swimming. I used to skip swim workouts, like maybe I'd get in the pool twice a month. Now I'm doing it two -three times a week.

Whatever the reason, I felt fast.

So when I have nights like tonight, when I feel apallingly slow, and I hang onto nights like last night, in which I felt fast.

It gets me through the bad times, when the evil voices in my head ask me just who the hell I think I'm kidding? Then I remember the times I've felt blazing fast.
If you're looking for a motivator, do this. Write them down if you have to. They make the bad times easier.

So, I'll put up my feet, relax, and feel good about myself. Bad thoughts and voices at bay, check.
...

Last Rites.

Two weeks ago I shared with my friends that the Fit is no longer Go.


Well, that's not too bad, is it? I mean, that's pretty much what it looked like before.

However, this is the side that wasn't hit.







Here's the side that was hit.

Oooo, ug-lay!













For the life of me, I can't figure out how that got ripped in the side.
I don't remember there being a sawtooth implement on the front of that truck.


As of now, State Farm has referred my case to their "total loss" department. So very soon, the Fit will probably be reincarnated.


It was a very good car, so maybe it will come back as another Honda. (Bad cars are reincarnated as Hummers.)

...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

More random pics.

I really do think Pirate has too much time on her hands.

Here's the latest web plaything she's sent me. http://www.imagechef.com/ic/product.jsp

I used it to make my dream tattoo, which I'm going to finance as soon as I git that El Camino out of impound...




Now, for some random pictures...





Bunnygirl gave me the tip of putting a [new, unused] bath puff in my aero bottle and looping it around me straw. It worked splendidly!
I did a short 25 mile ride today, per the Jimmy. It was fabulous. It was a beautiful day.


Now, I've been thinking about the comfort issues that have been plaguing me for over a year now.


Writing about it violates my usual beliefs about privacy...I'm a bit shier than Nytro, and not inclined to share the innermost workings of of my "va-jay-jay." However, I do tend to lean strongly toward public service, so I will simply say this, to my fellow triathlettes:


The soreness issue that I've been going on about ad nauseum? I think it's been, how shall I say this, a maintanance issue. And that's all I'm gonna say about that. Email me if I'm not being clear.


Okay! Back to more random pictures.
Here's some grafitti I found on the back of a newspaper vending machine next to the place where Sweet Baboo and I do coffee sometimes.

Seriously. I cannot even remember from college what this means. but as a high school math teacher, I was thrilled!










A close up of one of my feet. See my flower toe. Aren't they pretty? I never thought of feet as nice before, but then when I was having my pedicure, a saw a woman with some seriously ugly feet. It's not nice to say. But I felt sorry for her. And now I like my feet.




Okay. This last one is the bike profile for ironman Louisville (click to see the larger version). The bike profile in the upper part is the one provided by the website. I don't know why race directors have to make them look like you're cycling the Alps. However, I took the picture and ran it through Photoshop, to make it more to scale (below). Now it doesn't look so scary.


...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Tires, Cycling, and the southwest.



Yesterday's flat was most likely caused by something called a "puncture vine" seed, also known as "Mexican sand bur." It's a noxious week that grows very well all over the place.

These pretty little vines put out little yellow flowers, and then they produce a small fruit. The fruit dries and produces four seeds known around here as "goatheads".

Goatheads have long, stiff thorns heading out in 2 directions, and they lay in a way so that no matter which ways it lands, there's one thorn sticking up. They're about 1/4 inch long. Seeds like this spread by getting caught in the fur of animals and being carried that way. They also blow around pretty well.

They are EVERYWHERE. I walked through the desert in a pair of lower-end sandals the other day, about 700 meters, and by the time I was done the entire bottom of each sandal was completely crusted with them. They covered the entire bottom.

Goatheads are otherwise known as "MOTHERF&$%R!" by the people dumb enough to walk around barefoot, or those who've flatted out for the second or third time when they've ignored the advice of the locals.

You see, the really great thing about living in Albuquerque is that is rarely rains here, so there's lots and lots of time to spend outdoors. We're a mile above sea level, which is good for training, and the humidity is fairly low, usually less than 20% but almost always less than 25%.
Last summer we had an unusual rainy season, and on some of the days the humidity was a whopping 50%. Boy, did we whine! We (meaning denizens of the Burque) walked around saying in our whiniest voices, "Oh, my gosh, it's just so HOT and so STICKY. Oh, my gosh, when will this end?" But anyway, I'm rambling.

Even the insane wind is not al that bad. It's good for training.

The bad thing about Albuquerque is the occasional sand storms and, of course, goatheads.

So we occasionally get people who are new to the area, people who like to run or do triathlon, and we remind them of three things:

1) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate- this IS the desert!

2) you'll need about 500 spf sunscreen, and

3) you'll need some super thorn-resistant setup on your bike.

This usually involves a type of tire with Kevlar in it (Specialized Armadillos or Bontrager Hardcase), sometimes a thorn-proof liner, and some sort of sealant like Stans, that seals punctures and allows you to air up the tire again if it goes flat.

With this setup I've never gotten a flat.

When I bought my new bike, I was talked into getting something called Gatorskins. POP! PSSSSSSSSSSSS, a flat. As well, I didn't have any sealant in them. I did some searching, and read some cycling forums and there's a general consensus that Gatorskins may, indeed, be absolute crap.
So I will endeavor this week to replace the Gatorskins with some decent Kevlar tires.

Anyway, if you ever decide to do a race here, keep this post in mind. You may think you've got evil tire-puncturing things where you live? Well, maybe you do. They grow wild here.
You've been warned!

...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bad Day. Pouting


Today was definitely
ONE. OF. THOSE. DAYS.
If you're reading this, you are the lucky recipient of my bitching and whining.

The goal: 70 mile training ride.
the result: 39 miles and some change, and a 2+ mile walk.

Here's why today sucked so utterly:

1. Flat wings suck. At least, mine does. My bottles bounced out about 6 or 7 times during the 31 miles I put in today. Then the yellow thingy that keeps my aerobottle from splashing HEED all over me fell out, and blew off the trail. I didn't want to put it, all dusty and stuff, back into the bottle, so I and my new bike were showered with HEED whenever I went over any little bump, which was often, until I finally just drank the whole thing down to be done with it.

2. I'm still hurting from last weekend. No, not my legs. Think higher. No, not my sit bones. Think slightly lower. This may be a new saddle issue. In any case, it remains a source of anger and frustration for me. I finally turned back at the 31 mile mark and told people to go finish with me as I was unable to maintain an aero position and couldn't see doing another 40 miles sitting bolt upright.


3. My first flat. Oh, how proud I was when I sat down to change it! 'Cause I know just how to to do that!
Except...
there's no tire iron. Okay, no tire iron - um, okay - I can use the rounded end of my key. My tubes are always filled with stans, anyway, so I'll use the cartrige to air it back up.
Except...okay, um they aren't filled with Stans today. I'll change the tube. Oh. I don't HAVE the right sized tube. Um, okay, I'll stick a 700 tube in there for a temporary fix to get me the 4-5 miles or so back to my car...

4. The jerk who made a U-turn in his SEMI, forcing me off the rode. he never saw me. I think he could have easily hit me and knocked me off the rode and never known it. A$$HO&E! He'd have been all like, "what was that bump? Ah, probably just some road debris." I've never known that kind of futile fury before...I wanted to clog down the road in my cycling shoes and throw handsful of gravel at him. Which he'd have never been aware of.


5. After I was forced off the road by the A$$HO&E, my jerry-rigged back tire immediately went flat again. >Sigh.<>
So I hoofed it. 2.7 miles. In my bike shoes.

I. Hate. Cycling.

Tomorrow I will run. On a trail. In my shoes. Which will not go flat.
Oh, and Did I mention I hate cycling?
...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Food for thought.

I found this on VJ's blog and HAD to share it:

What the World Eats. Click through all the pics.

Admit it - aren't you just a little humbled by a family that spends about US$35 a week on their food? How about $1.29?
...

PSA #405

Here's something you might want to be aware of if you haven't already done a long course triathlon or a marathon.

It so happens that those among us prone to water retention often find ourselves taking on some excess fluids (and weight) during the first few days after the race.

Just imagine this: you've just done a 70.3 triathlon above altitude. But for the behavior of your bizarre teammate Miguel, you finished DFL.

You feel, and rightfully so, that it's the hardest thing you've ever done.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

And let's just say, hypothetically, that you're exhausted, quickly develop a deep and abiding hatred of stairs, inclines, and anything you have to step up on. You wonder why you didn't have the guy who built your house put in an escalator.

Then a day or so later you get on the scale to find you've GAINED 6 pounds.

Did you read what I wrote? GAINED SIX POUNDS. That's just under 3 kg for our international friends.

Oh, sure, it goes away after a day or five, but it's a bit jarring, to say the least.

It could happen to you. Enjoy.

No need to thank me; I'm here to help.

...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Random pictures and Bike Porn.



Yesterday I cleaned up a bit and actually found some stuff. One of the stuff was the cord that lets me transfer pictures from the digital camera to the computer, and my joy is your gain.

Above, here's Sweet Baboo riding the tractor at his mom's house in San Antonio during spring break. (Click to see larger pictures.

Above rught, I posted some time back about the trip Sweet Baboo and I made to Colorado Multisport back in early April, where Tim fitted us for bikes. He spent about 3-4 hours with each of us, measuring, adjusting, etc. We took our old bikes up there, and he fitted us for those.


Sweet Baboo's bike arrived a few weeks later. Of course it did. I'll leave it to him to post his pictures on his own blog.


Mine, however, was delayed as Kestrel decided whether or not to get their heads out of their rear ends. It was maddening. First, they said my bike would be ready in mid-May. Then it was late May. Then it was "Gosh, we just don't know when we'll have it." :-(


Poor Tim - he did everything he could to speed things up.

Left - this is just a random picture from my hard drive, of Sweet Baboo and several other Outlaws about to start Ironman Arizona.

ANYHOO, Time dragged by, and I was able to view Baboo using his brand new toy but I could not.

I didn't post about it because I still stinging from the suggestion by Herself that my answer to life's little dilemas was to buy stuff and brag about it. That's not entirely true, after all. Sometimes I throw temper tantrums. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I go and get my nails done, or get flowers painted on my toes.
(Sometimes, I even stuff my emotions down to a deep, dark place from where, hopefully, they'll never emerge.) But do I get credit for that? Noooooooo.

Plus, with the genuine angst that goes on in the world, it just seemed superficial to complain because my brand new expensive toy wasn't arriving fast enough.

So I suffered in silence.

I even considered canceling my order with Kestrel and going with a different bike, but I was limited because I wanted 650 wheels and, being the manly woman that I am, I wear a 54cm frame.

Anyway, eventually, Tim was able to get me a frame and then built my bike. It arrived in a giant FedEx box last Thursday, and mini-Baboo called to let me know it had arrived. I threatened him with certain death if he attempted to open the cartons. Tim had fedexed it to me so that I'd have it in time to suffer mightily on it at the Duche-man.

Actually, I didn't completely suffer at the Douche-man. It's just that I didn't get to see everything that she could do.

That is, not until the truck (you know, the one that follows the last rider) pulled up along side me, a mile or so out from T2, and I was informed I had 4 minutes to get off the course. Then I force myself - and my sore butt - into an aero position and hammered away. I felt like I was flying. It was pure joy, I tell ya. The bike is a work of art and science.







May I present to you


the Rockette.

...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What my coach said.

"...You should be resting. I don't want to sabotage anything
you have worked so hard for. ...you have to trust me with my
recovery recommendations.
"


Why this is funny:

Trust me when I say that nobody has to convince me to rest. Ever.

In the world of competitive resting, I reign supreme.

I'm about to order a "water hammock" which allows you to float, partially submerged, while napping. Sweet Baboo and I are working out the logistics of my new back yard hammock, which will allow me to lie in the shade and nap.

Seriously. I'm not kidding. I'm very committed to napping. Very good at it.



I had one of those super hyper work-ethic generation Dads, so I occasionally feel guilty about it, but not for too long. I am of the opinion that Americans need to take more naps.

In between workouts and races of course.

...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Here I sits.


I'm plenty tired, but I can't sleep.

My sunburned shoulders and arms itch.

My legs want a word with me, NOW.

My quads are stiff and getting stiffer. I can't sit in a hot tub because my legs are sunburned.

I can't shave them either.

So I'm all itchy, achy, and fuzzy.

There was a worrisome pain in my right ankle. I hope it's just a muscle spasm.

My hoo hoo is badly chaffed. (How do you guys manage it? I mean, you have all that STUFF down there.)

I can't stop eating. I'm craving chicken, and I'm a vegetarian.

My arms ache from holding a handlebars in a stiff wind for 56 miles.

My eyes hurt.
My lips are chapped.

I've ruined my manicure AND my pedicure. Dammit.

My throat is dry and scratchy.

I'm bloated.

My chest aches.

My nose is chapped.

My hair hurts.

and all I can think is...



I wonder what else I could do?


...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I'm done. (Race Report)


I finished the Deuceman 70.3

Holy hell, that was the hardest thing I've ever done.

I became a cry-athlete (Pirate's words) in the middle of the bike.





I edited the run and bike profiles with some general comments . Click to read.

(Added later)
Okay, I've had the first of what I'm sure is going to be two suppers, and here's what I have to say...

This was the third 70.3 I've done. I figured, it would be a piece of cake, especially since the race director advertised it as a "fast course" with "some hills" at the 40-mile mark.

So, here's the dirt: I had a crap day. There were three things working against me:

First, the bike course was very hilly on the second half. The bike profile above doesn't show all the turns on the course. See that reallllllly big hill? Towards the end? It winds toward the right, so that you don't realize you're still climbing until each time you round a corner. For four miles, it just keeps going up, and up, and up. That's why I kept pulling over and crying. At one point, I was crying and babbling, "it won't end. It just won't end!"

Second, the altitude was around 6200 feet. Altitudes like that make you feel all wimpy and whiny, like you really suck. You have trouble catching your breath. Swim, bike, run, it doesn't matter: unless you live at this altitude, you're going to suck some serious air. The air has less pressure, and the oxygen molecules are further apart, so your lungs have to work harder to get in the oxygen.

Third, well of COURSE there was wind. Wind loves me. I passed three windmills - real ones - pointing in the direction I was going. They were spinning like mad. And here's the thing: The wind was in my face going out AND COMING BACK!

MotherF&$%#ER! Hills, High Altitude, and Wind. Don'tcha just wish you were me?

I read somewhere that when you're really, really tired your body plays a trick where it tries to convince you to stop, just stop, in order to protect itself. I really had to battle that today. It is worth noting that Sweet Baboo was worried I'd blame the day on him. I'll admit to many dark thoughts while on the bike, but I was sure happy to see him at the finish, and I knew he would worry enough about me to make up for any imagined wrongdoing.

Some of my thoughts on this bike:

  • I hate the bike. I really hate the bike.
  • Who am I fooling? I'm never going to be able to finish an ironman. \
  • I think I may do permanant damage to my hoo-hoo with all these long bikes.
  • I can't do this. I just can't handle one more hill.
  • Oh my F&$%#ing gawd, another F&$%#ing hill.
  • I have to quit. Now. Right this second.
  • This was all Sweet Baboo's idea.
  • I am so unprepared for this. I'm a fraud. There's no way I'm going to be able to do an ironman.
  • I really, really hate the motherF&$%#ing bike!

In any case, there were only two Athenas stupid enough to attempt this today, so it appears I may have gotten 2nd. I was dead last, and too busy crying in Sweet Baboo's lap to think about any prize I might have gotten.

I'm sure that Sweet Baboo and Pirate will have their own reports to make and about how this was major, major suckitude.

So, I'll just make a general list of pro's/cons

Pros:

1. Volunteers, as they often are, were awesome. They had this whole "switch out your bottle thing" going, where they had bottled prepared with HydraBOOM and without dismounting, you could swap out your empty bottles with a full one. Cool. Very cool. At one aid station, they surrounded me like I was at a 1950's gas pump. One handed me gels. Another swapped out my bottles. One squeezed a bottle of water into my aero bottle. The swap out thing was especially handy when I reached back to get mine and realized it had bounced out of my flatwing. I got a nice, cold full bottle to replace it.

2. Smallish sort of race, so you didn't get overwhelmed by the crowd.

3. They sent the Athena's, Clydesdales, and Pros off in the first wave. That means I had a whole lake practically to myself with a nice crowd some distance ahead of me to let me know where to go next. (Until, that is, the men showed up, and surrounded me. But then they swam on, and I had the lake to myself again.)

4. My new bike made this easier than it would have otherwise been. For instance, when I pulled over and unclipped to cry in the middle of a hill climb, it was much easier to get back on and keep going up the hill, until the next time I pulled over to cry.

5. I think my hydration/nutrition plan worked well although, owing to the difficult of the course, I added more hydration on the run.

6. Awesome shwag and a great raffle afterwards.

7. The swim was awesome. The lake was a no-wake lake, with no chop and a "brisk" 67-degree temperature.

Now for the cons (Only two, but they are compelling)

1. The bike was advertised on the web site as a "fast course with some hills at 40 miles". Bulls$%t. Everyone I knew, even those that did the Olympic course, were wondering around in an exhausted daze, talking about how difficult this course was. This was an extremely challenging course, with many people who are accomplished athletes talking about hard it was.

2. There was a point, halfway through the run, where you split off right to either finish (if you'd just finished the 2nd loop) or go left to do the second loop. Miguel, for instance, didn't do the second loop and didn't even realize it, and when he did, he promptly reported it to someone who let him go back out on the course to finish it. There was no way to make sure that everyone did the second loop. They need to put a timing mat somewhere on the second loop to make sure that everyone does it.

Not a PR. It may have been my worst ever.

But I'm done.

Now it's time to eat second supper.


...

Friday, June 01, 2007

the Deuceman Experience, Day One


So today we arrived in Show Low, and went to packet pickup.

Can you say GREAT? SHWAG?

In my race packet: Deuceman headsweats running hat, Tyr gear bag, technical T, sundries, and of course, the usual tattoo, and other items.

I bought a new 70.3 sticker for whatever car I wind up with to replace the Fit. I had a great collection. Dammit.


Now it's time to intoduce a new reocurring character: Miguel. We adopted Miguel, age 55, earlier this year. He's our oldest son. He holds a Ph.D. in recreation or something like that, and works for the city of Albuquerque. He's wiry and fast. He's been champion of his age group in the southwest challenge series a couple years in a row, I think. He was a national swimming champion in Columbia, and won the triathlon in the senior olympics in our area last year.

He speaks rapidly with a thick Columbian accent, and always punctuates things he feels strongly about by saying them three times.

Oh, my goodness ju gonna be so fast, fast, fast!
And ju know de land around the area is so flat, flat, flat!

Miguel is famous among our little group for several things, such as:

  • He eats a lot of straight salt during races. Once he left a race course and ran through a picnic asking for salt. they kept trying to give him food. He just wanted salt. The day before the race he pours salt all over his food, chanting, "no crumps! No crumps!"

  • He gets more flats than anyone I know. Sometimes twice during a sprint. Once, we were all standing around at the pre-race meeint, and his tire spontaneously exploded. Ever hear that? It sounds like a gun going off. Anyway, nobody was even near his tire. It just decided, "I'm Miguel's tire, I'm going to go flat anyway, so why not just get it over with."

  • Last year, at the Buffalo Springs half iron, he and Sweet Baboo ran it as a team. He did the run leg with Sweet Baboo doing the swim and bike. BUT he did a sprint triathlon first. Miguel ran the Tri-raider sprint, which took off after the half iron was well on its way. He won grand master champion on the sprint and then immediately went back out and did the 13.1 mile run, and he and Sweet Baboo placed 2nd place in the team category.
Anyway, he's bunking with us and is runnng as an age group in the Deuceman 70.3 tomorrow.

I'll keep you posted.


...