Thursday, March 30, 2006

Gearing up for epic camp!

Triathlon season is just around the corner, and Justin and I have a rather ambitious (hopefully not too stupid) season planned. Our early "A" priority race is the Desoto American TTT, a three-day event with a super sprint, 2 olympics, and a 1/2 IM distance race. For two of the races, we'll get to race as a team and draft on the bike. The weekend prior to this race, we'll be racing Memphis in May (both the mtb and the olympic road races)...hopefully, this will not be too poor a decision. Then, in June, there are olympic distance races almost every weekend (welcome to triathlon season in Oklahoma). In July, we might consider heading to Kansas City for age-group nationals, and then do a 1/2 IM and sprint race over a weekend in Arkansas for August. September has Justin thinking he might go for a full IM and see what it's like...I'm not yet convinced.

In preparation for the season, we're meeting some friends this weekend for a crazy training "camp," based on Gordo Byrne's epic training camps. We'll bike 100 miles on Saturday after running for an hour (~7 miles or so), and then wind down the day with an hour in the pool. On Sunday, we get up and do it all again. I'm excited to swim with some really good swimmers (although our swims have been really improving with the volume we've been putting in). The bike work will be really good for us, too, but we have been getting in long rides pretty consistently for the past month and a half or so - we can tell that they've been greatly improving our endurance and climbing/descending skills (since we ride through some of the few mountains Oklahoma has to offer).

I'm very optimistic about the coming season. I think I've struggled to put races together, not so much because I wasn't in shape, but because mentally, I wasn't at the top of my game. I'm making a concerted effort to read up on the mental side of training/racing/triathlon, and I think it will really help me do my best with the sport. I'm excited about the prospects! Training has gone really well; I just got out of the pool after a short workout, but my times have really decreased...I just did 3 x 100's in ~1:10, which I was pretty pleased with! I'll keep at it with the bike, run, mental training, and learning about nutrition, and then...I think I might be able to put together my best season so far!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I'm feeling a little contemplative today, maybe because it's my birthday. I wonder if I've been good at seizing each moment and living life to the fullest...all that. I think I've done pretty well - I can make a list of some really cool things I've been fortunate enough to do:
  • Work in a natural history museum
  • Lived in a foreign country (Iceland)
    • I was profiled as an American kid on Icelandic television!
  • Sailed up and down the west coast of the US and Mexico in my sailboat
    • Saw a humpback whale breach less than 500 feet from my boat!
    • Weathered some pretty impressive storms with freaking big waves
  • Expanded my "horizons" by living all over the US - I've seen sunrises emerging from the Atlantic and sunsets retreating into the Pacific
  • Held wild birds in my hand (mist-netted for a MAPS assessment)
  • Experienced one of the world's global hotspots for diversity looking for salamanders in the southern Appalachain mountains
  • Qualified for the Boston marathon
  • Been somewhat competitive as an age-group triathlete
I should probably keep adding to that list to remind myself how great life is. I have family members and friends that struggle with health and other issues. I realize that life is dictated by random events, at times, but also careful planning and decisions. I have been fortunate with some things, such as my health, but have also made conscious decisions that have helped me end up where I am today. Not all decisions have been "sound" in all ways, of course...I wish I had no student loans, but I am incredibly happy with the career I am in (compared to where I was before I went back for another degree and graduate school). All those what if's and ponderings of what might have been if I had done something different! Everything is a compromise, I suppose - it all comes back to our attitude (echoes of my mom...brilliant woman).

Monday, March 20, 2006

Day 1 of the rest of my life...

Thought I would start a blog today - so I did. I've never been great at writing in a journal, but have heard that it's a useful exercise for getting to know yourself. I think I know myself fairly well, but maybe there's still lots to be learned.

Who am I?
  • An age-group triathlete
  • A museum professional who works in herpetology (I suppose I could call myself a herpetologist, but people associate the word too much with Steve Irwin, and that makes me cringe)
  • An environmentalist who is getting more and more pessimistic about the state of the world
There are a number of important people in my life who will likely make appearances in my blogs, if I can manage to remember keep these exercises up.
Who are they?
  • Justin - the simply brilliant (he just about aced the damn GRE's), sometimes illogical ("I don't like the word 'asparagus'), and generally amazing guy who's been on lots of life's adventures with me in the last 10 years
  • Jordan - the hound dog who followed Justin back to our campground in Tennessee and showed us that without her, our lives would be empty
  • Haley - the red heeler dog who we adopted when we thought Jordan needed a friend (in hindsight, Jordan probably didn't 'need' a friend, but she's got one now); she has also demonstrated how she fills life's holes
Those are the main players, but there are many others who I might formally introduce, or maybe not. It's my call.