Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No NYC Marathon This Year

Sad news.  I found out today that I didn't get selected in the ING NYC Marathon lottery this year.  I'm actually a little more bummed about it than I thought I would be honestly.  I went into the lottery not really sure I was going to be able to go to NYC this fall, but as the lottery date drew closer, my anticipation for returning to the Big Apple grew stronger.  Not getting selected is probably a blessing in disguise.  Plus, this one denial makes me one step closer to gaining guaranteed entry.  After three straight denials, you get guaranteed entry the fourth year.  I'll at least be running NYC again in 2014, if not earlier.

After hearing about my NYC situation, I had a friend ask me to throw my name in for the Houston marathon in 2012.  I'm strongly considering this race now.  My friend lives in Houston and offered up a place to stay that weekend.  Houston is also the site for the 2012 USA Olympic trials.  All of the big American runners will be there trying to qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London.  You know Ryan, Meb, Desi, Kara, Shalane, and a host of other star power will be there running to get a spot on the Olympic team.  There are about 2,000 guaranteed entry spots that open up in May.  OKC Memorial is actually one of the races listed as a common qualifier.  Technically any race can be used, but OKC made the list of events specifically singled out.  Unless the weather sucks or I just have a really bad day, I should be able to use my OKC Memorial time for one of the guaranteed spots.  If not, I can throw my name in the lottery there for a spot in the crowd.  The race is on January 14, 2012, so it would allow me some recovery time post-Louisville and I'd get to train during the fall - that's an A+ in my books.  The only downside is that I'd be training through football season again - definitely something to consider.  I have season tickets to Oklahoma State University and we're going to be good again this year.  I'm sure I'll be wanting to make a few road trips as well.  We'll see how this weekend goes and take it from there.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Race Week - OKC Memorial Half Marathon

It's that time of year again!  Half marathon #4 is just around the corner!!

In previous years, I've limped into this race with some lingering injuries and some not so ideal mileage totals.  This year I feel strong.  This year I feel ready.  This race will mark the 3rd anniversary of my entrance into endurance sports.  The previous 2 years I've set new PRs on this course, the first by default obviously.  I've gone back and forth in my head about what to expect from this race.  At the first of the year, this was one of my 3 "A" races that I gave to my coach.  It made it on the list with Ironman Kansas 70.3 and Ironman Louisville because running is my first love.  It's the one sport I know I'll always come back to after the Ironman season is over.  I'm not sure I'll try another Ironman.  I know I'll run more marathons.  Running will always be there.  I have the lofty goals of becoming a Boston qualifier, even though I know it will take years to get to that point.  I can definitely see myself having the goal of running a marathon in all 50 states somewhere down the road.  I see myself continuing to try to get faster and stronger and push myself harder.  That's why I'm so torn about what to expect from this race.  I know I have another PR in me.  I just need to figure out how hard and how fast I want to push.  I'm not only there for me this weekend.  I'm also there to help our Team-in-Training members reach their goals.  After I'm done running my half, I'll hop back out on the course and help those behind me fulfill their dreams.  For many, this will be their first marathon.  I want it to be something they'll cherish as much as I did.  I want to be there if they need me.  Thus my dilemma, do I go all out and see what's in my tank or do I play it safe and not risk a blow-up?  I'm torn. 

Here's the progression of my half marathon times the past 2 years:

2009 : 1:51:47

2010 : 1:49:16

2011 : ???

Based on my 5K and 10K times from this spring, most pace calculators have me nailed in the 1:41 to 1:43 range for projected finish times.  If so, my PR will be shattered and I'll know I'm making steps in the right direction.  At this point the weather looks to be really cooperative and my legs will hopefully feel fresh after a light training load this week.  I know I won't have a full 2-week taper in my legs, but this is the lightest training load I've seen on my calendar since my time off in November/December.  So, as race day draws near, I'll go through a race plan with my coach and see how we feel on Saturday.  I'll be sure to keep you all in the loop.

For those of you with iPhone's, you can dowload the OKC Memorial Marathon app and follow me live with my bib number : 10385.  I'm really excited for this weekend and can't wait to feel the marathon vibe in the city.  I love this time of year in OKC.  Run happy friends!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

We Run to Remember - Every Day of the Year

Thursday was one of those days where I didn't want to run. Shocker, I know. I went to the OKC Thunder vs Denver Nuggets game on Wednesday night so I woke up Thursday pretty tired and unmotivated. The fact we were off work on Friday due to Good Friday made my evening run even more unappealing. I fought back and forth with myself all day about my long run. Should I run after work or should I skip it and do it Friday morning? Either way I knew I would get it in, it was just a matter of when and where. I went ahead and grabbed all my gear and nutrition from my house when I went home for lunch and took it back to work with me. All afternoon I had it in my head that I was going to skip out on my run and do it the next morning. As the work day drew to a close, I looked at the weather and noticed a temp of 65 and light winds. Too good to pass up no matter how unmotivated I was feeling that day. I changed clothes in my office and then headed out to plant my water and Gatorade bottles along my running path. As I was driving to drop my water bottles, I noticed something different. Something that made me thankful to be able to go run. Something that made me remember why we shouldn't take a single day for granted. Here's what I saw:

Talk about a kick in the butt.  Here, marking my course for the night, were the names of those killed 16 years ago in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Downtown OKC.  My usual Thursday evening route from my office follows about 3 or 4 miles of the OKC Memorial Marathon course and along the route the marathon crew has placed the names of all of those killed that awful morning of April 19, 1995.  Seeing sign after sign of the names of those who are no longer with us made me thankful for the opportunity to run.  I suddenly felt energized and blessed to be alive and able to run.  I know it sounds corny, but it's true.  Life is a blessing.  Being healthy and able to run is a blessing.  Being able to remember those who passed before us along your running route is a blessing.  I paid tribute to every name I passed, quietly reading each name out loud and letting them know that we all remember.  We all remember how it felt.  We'll never fully understand the pain and suffering, but we remember.  Running that night made me even more grateful for my place in this world.  You never know what day will be your last.  Run for those who can't.  Run for those who won't.  Run because you love it.  Run to remember - every day of your life.  

Finally, I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter.  Regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof, I want to leave you guys with a YouTube video.  I saw Carrie Underwood in concert last year and she sang this song as part of her setlist.  It was amazing, powerful, and an example of how truly gifted she is as a vocalist.  Last night I saw it again on CBS during a show commemorating the female stars of country music.  I'd like to share it with you now because I think it's that good.  Please watch for yourself:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Does Lightning Strike Twice in the Same Place?

We'll find out soon! Tomorrow is the official deadline to enter the ING NYC Marathon lottery. The drawing is going to be held in late April so I should find out within the next week if I'm in for 2011. Part of me would love to get accepted for a 2nd year in a row and part of me thinks I should probably chill out post-Ironman. We'll see which side wins out in the end. I'll let you guys know as soon as I find out the results! Did anyone else apply?

I think it's a shame the Boston Marathon isn't televised. It's the most prestigious marathon in the world and it can't even get a 3 hour time slot on a Monday morning. I know runner's make up a small segment of the population, but it's a very loyal group and one that most likely has demographics that are appealing to advertisers and television executives alike. It just blows my mind that you have to pay $5 to watch an online feed and that's your only option. Due to work IT policies, I was stuck following the action on Twitter. I was a nervous wreck trying to stay up on the action and hoping Hall and Desi could pull out the victories. It's awesome that Ryan and Desi both had such great showings. The professional running community in the US is definitely getting stronger and it's only a matter of time before one of them puts together a complete race and wins it. Desi was so close! Losing by 2 seconds in a race that covers that amount of distance is insane. May kudos to her and Ryan for such amazing performances. You also can't discount the fact that Kara Goucher set a new PR only 6 months after having a baby. She'll be back competing for the crown in no time.

Nothing else really going on today. I ended up doing my brick workout this morning because I thought I had customers in town, but I ended up having the evening free. I went ahead and knocked out my strength-training session for the week and will have the rest of the week to focus on my other disciplines. I also ended up getting tickets to the OKC Thunder vs Denver Nuggets game tomorrow night so I'll get my swim done in the AM and go enjoy the playoff atmosphere for the first time. Thunder up! Hope you all have a great week. I'm looking forward to a 3-day weekend!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

19 weeks - Flight is booked

As I type this, we are officially 19 weeks away from Ironman Louisville. I finally pulled the trigger and bought my flight to Louisville today. I've been putting it off for a few weeks now to see if prices would change, but at this point I think the only change is going to be up. I'll fly out to Louisville on Thursday, August 25th, to have a couple of days to acclimate and see the course. One of the bad things about doing Louisville is that it's expensive and not easy to get to and from there from OKC. Ideally, I would go out at least once this summer to ride the course and see the venue first-hand, but I don't think the finances or work are going to allow that to happen. I'm still holding out some hope that I can make it out there in July, but it's a very slim chance. The good news is that my parents are driving out and a lot of the travel hassle will be taken out of the equation. Thank you Mom and Dad! Having them transport my bike and gear is going to be a huge positive and one less thing to worry about come race weekend. I'll be forever grateful!

This weekend has been a lot of fun and a good change of pace. Yesterday's ride was a nice change from the solo rides and today I waited until the afternoon to run so I could slowly acclimate my body for summer. Temps were in the 80s and the wind was howling so it was good prep for the months ahead. I ended up running 5.4 miles today to round out my highest mileage week of the year! It's only going to go up from here, but as of now I'm about as healthy as I can ever remember. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this trend continues for the rest of the year. I really believe the weight-training is making a huge difference in my overall health. Last week I scheduled it in my week just like I would a swim, bike, or run workout. I plan on making that my routine, otherwise it's easy to just skip it if I don't have the time. I'll make the time now.

I got sidetracked on YouTube yesterday after searching for that "I'm Training for an Ironman" video. I love watching motivational videos for the Ironman or marathon. I spent a good 30-40 minutes surfing through videos and getting all hyped up for my own journey. I found another one I'd like to share. I'm not a huge Eminem fan, but I love the video. The song is fitting as well. I do apologize for the profanity, but I felt the video was too good not to share. I watched it today before heading out for my run. Hope you enjoy it as well:

What's Your Something?

Those of you who read this blog regularly know how grateful I am to be able to wake up every day and chase my dreams. I'm a firm believer that we should never take for granted our health and good fortune in life. As endurance athletes, we make every day count and I truly believe that because of it, we'll put ourselves in situations to succeed in all aspects of our life. It's not lost on me that the reason I am who I am today is because of a lot of hard work, a little luck, and an undying passion to continue to push myself and become a better person. Endurance sports has been the perfect avenue for me to continue to grow as an adult. I became stagnant after college for a couple of years and lost a little bit of my fire. I didn't like who I became and endurance sports gave me the spark I needed to start the fire again. Now it's not a question about if I can do something, it's about how and when I can make it happen. Sure, I have those days when a workout is a lot harder than I wanted and the stars don't align, but the doubt is very short-lived. In those couple of years after college, a lot of self doubt started to set in and took hold in my life. I lost the confidence in myself and I ended up in a place where I was looking for others for solutions. I was becoming someone who needed approval, acceptance, and guidance from other people. It wasn't me. I hated it. Thanks to endurance sports I've become a self-confident, self-reliant, and extremely happy individual. I now have people in my life who enrich me and make me a better person. I now have the confidence to say no. I know what I want, I know what makes me happy, and I know I have people in my life who add meaning and value, not just entertainment. I believe as we grow older we continuously are growing and changing. It's important to find something in life that will help you grow stronger and more confident. If you aren't in that spot in your life, it's time to make a change. Find something you love. Find something that will make you want to remove the distractions, the negativity, and all of the noise in your life. I truly think when you find that something you will become a person who will not only enrich your own life, but those around you. I've found my something. What's yours?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Self-talk definitely helps

It's been another one of those weeks.  It's been so busy I can't see straight.  I'm beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel as far as customer visits and my evenings being full due to work or other obligations.  I'm really, really looking forward to a more "normal" schedule.  I'm not sure how normal my schedule will be with all the training hours needing to be logged, but at least I won't have to shift as many workouts around if the calendar isn't full.

Wednesday/Thursday was the first time I've felt like I'm that guy in the Ironman YouTube video:

Due to many conflicts in my schedule this week, my only choice to get in my long run this week was to do it before work on Thursday morning.  I have to be at work at 7AM so for me to log a long run before work means that I really have to be up and running REALLY early.  Due to this, I worked my schedule around to where I could get to bed at 8PM on Wednesday night.  It was still light outside and the neighbor's kids were still screaming and yelling outside, but I closed the blinds, turned on some ambient noise, and made myself go to bed.  Fast forward to 3:40AM when I heard the dinging of the iPhone going off in my head.  Since I had gone to bed so early, I actually felt pretty well rested, but 3:40AM is early no matter how you slice it.  I stumbled into the bathroom and looked myself in the mirror and gave myself a little pep talk :  "This is why you are going to be an Ironman.  You are willing to wake up at 3:40AM to get in a long run.  You will put in the time and work to cross that finish line.  You will be an Ironman."  Yep, I really did that in my bathroom on Thursday morning.  Let me tell you something, self-talk definitely helps.  I was motivated to get out the door and knock out my run.  I wish my legs were as motivated as my head though.  I had lifted weights the night before and my legs were absolute mush the first four miles.  After I broke through that barrier, the rest of the run was really nice.  No one else was out on the trail until I was almost finished and it was the first time I got to test out my new running headlamp that I got as a birthday gift this year.  I'll have to say I freaking love the headlamp.  It was just what I needed to eliminate all excuses from getting out when it's dark.

Today was my long ride of the week and I joined up with our Team-in-Training cycling group.  They are training for the Lake Tahoe Century Ride and were logging about 60 miles today.  It matched up perfectly with my schedule so I tagged along today.  The weather was actually really chilly this morning compared to the last few weeks.  Temps were in the low 40s and a bit breezy.  We headed out north and west of OKC to a town called Okarche and turned around and headed back along the same route.  On the way out of town towards Okarche I ended up pulling the group for about 20 miles into a headwind.  It was a great workout and everyone was very complimentary of my ability to pull the entire way into the headwind.  I ended up logging just under 57 miles today so that is now my longest ride of the year.  Believe it or not, it was a hilly ride as well.  Yes, Oklahoma does have a few hills.  I'm definitely going to add that route to my list for this summer.  It's a 4-lane highway most of the way with very wide shoulders.  It's plenty of room to stay off the road and there isn't a ton of debris on the shoulder.   There was definitely a hefty sample of roadkill, but not much in the way of glass, nails, metal, or anything else that could cause a flat.

Now I'm off to cheer on my Oklahoma State Cowboys as they battle the OU Sooners at Bricktown Ballpark in some Bedlam baseball action.  It looks like a perfect evening to be out at the park.  60s and light winds with a lot of orange in the stadium.  Go Pokes!  Beat OU!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Redbud Weekend - 50 Mile Bike and 10K Run

A year ago this weekend I was a bit apprehensive about finishing a 33-mile bike tour.  It was the first time I had ridden in a group setting and was going to be the longest distance I had ever pedaled on my new road bike.  I was a newbie.  I still hadn't fully embraced my triathlete-in-training label and quite honestly wasn't sure I wanted to adopt it fully.  Wow.  Times have definitely changed.  This weekend was the one year anniversary of my first bike tour and another stepping stone in the Road to Louisville.

The week leading up to the Redbud Classic was not one of the best training weeks I've had lately.  I got way too little sleep.  I skipped a swim.  I was exhausted and burning on fumes when Friday finally arrived.  This has to be the busiest time of the year for me.  Coming out of winter is when everything kicks into high gear.  Customers start visiting more frequently, my brother and niece start up with spring sports, race season kicks into gear, and everyone I know has a birthday.  It's the same way every year.  I love spring, but it can be exhausting - and expensive.  Luckily, Chesapeake Energy picks up the tab for all of my spring races and all I have to do is show up and give it my best effort.  This weekend I  had registered for the Redbud 50 Mile bike tour on Saturday and the 10K run on Sunday afternoon.  The Redbud 5K was my first race ever back in 2009.  Redbud is a great event and is really the big race that kicks off the racing season.  It's the first big cycling event in the area as well.  It's basically a great weekend to showcase the winter training and kick the dust off the tires on the bike.

The 50 mile tour was a lot of fun for me this year.  It's the longest ride I've had in 2011 and the weather was pretty cooperative.   Temps were in the low 70s at the start and probably reached the high-70s by the time I finished.  The winds were about as good as you can ask for this time of year - somewhere in the 20mph range.  I started the race by myself because I showed up just in time for the start and didn't get a chance to squeeze in with the Team-in-Training folk.  The first 10-12 miles were pretty congested since most of it is spent on a 2-lane road.  After you make the turn south,then east of OKC, you really break up the pack because the headwind starts picking people off and then a water stop picks off a few more.  About mile 17, I caught up to a fellow TNT'er who is training for Ironman Wisconsin this year and we settled in together and rode side-by-side for the rest of the ride.  We chatted about training, goals, ambitions, fears, and everything else Ironman-related.  It was one of the best rides I've had on the bike.  I really enjoyed the company and felt like I could talk freely with my riding partner about the aurora surrounding the Ironman.  It was refreshing to know I had someone so close to me going through the exact same thing.  I really hope we can make our schedules work to share many more long rides together this summer.

Today was my shot to see how the legs would respond after the bike yesterday.  I really didn't expect much honestly, but to my surprise I felt pretty decent today.  The run starts at 2PM every year so it's really a toss-up weather-wise.  This year we were treated to low 80s and fairly light winds.  It wasn't weather that you'd really say was perfect for a PR, but it was still pretty nice compared to the 40-50mph wind gusts that had been forecast for today.  I'm not really sure where the forecast went wrong, but I'm sure everyone involved in today's run was very grateful for the mistake.  Stupid me forgot to start my Garmin when I crossed the mat at the starting line so I never really knew my official time throughout the whole race.  I guessed i was about .10 miles off judging by the signs along the route, but I never really knew exactly where I was with my overall time.  I knew early on I was going to be pretty close to setting a new PR.  Conditions weren't ideal, but I was kicking off pretty solid pace averages and by my estimates I was on track to beat my time of 46:41 from 2 years ago in nearly perfect race conditions (50s, cloudy, no wind).  As I made my final turn onto the last .5 mile straight-away, I estimated I needed to average about a 6:50 pace to close out a PR so I kicked up the pace a bit and closed out strongly.  My Garmin read 45:44 and 6.15 miles.  I was pretty confident I had just nailed a new PR.  Sadly, my time according to the online results shows a 46:42.  Aargh!  Missed a PR by 2 seconds!  If I hadn't been such a dummy at the start, I would have known to push just a little bit harder on that homestretch.  Oh well, I'm still really happy with my running right now.  My PR from 2 years ago was at a time when all I was doing was running and race conditions were nearly perfect.  I'll take my 46:42 in today's weather and set my sights on the OKC Memorial Half Marathon in 3 weeks.  I think I see that 1:49:16 shaking in it's boots.  Here's hoping for a healthy, happy, and restful 3 weeks until OKC Memorial.  I'm looking for a PR baby!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What's Your Limit?

The weather today in Oklahoma made me wonder what my limits are for training rides.  Today was my long bike ride of the week.  I slept in until 8:00 AM and then got all my gear ready for a my 2 hour ride and 20 min run brick workout.  My plan was to go out to Lake Stanley Draper on the southeast side of OKC and try to get in some hill work during my ride.  The roads are in pretty good shape and there is fairly light traffic in the area.  Plus, it's one of the few areas where you can actually ride some rolling hills in the metro area. I knew it was supposed to be windy today, but I don't guess I really expected it to be a big factor.  It's Oklahoma.  It's windy 95% of the year.  We get used to it and like I've joked before, it's our version of hill training.  Today was different though. 

When I parked my car at the marina, I got out to a howling south wind.  It was one of those winds that if you didn't have a firm grip on your car door it was going to get slammed shut or almost ripped off the hinges.  I looked around and noticed I was the only car in the parking lot.  Usually there are a lot of people out riding on the weekend so that was my first clue that today wasn't a good idea.  I got my bike ready and decided I'd do a couple of warm-up loops in the parking lot before heading out on the highway.  It was at this point that I almost got blown over on my bike and seriously started reconsidering my ride options for the day.  I turned the corner and took the wind head-on and got sand-blasted by the blowing dust.  Mentally I was shot.  No way did I want to spend two hours fighting to stay upright and pedal in place.  I set my limits for my bike rides today. My limit is 40-50  mph gusts I guess.  I'll take 20-30mph winds and struggle through, but when it gets more than that I'll stick to the trainer.  I racked my bike and headed back home for a date with the trainer.  The good news is that I put my tri bike on the trainer and knocked out 2 hours while watching the Ironman Louisville course DVD and then headed outside for a quick 20 minute run.  The temps today in OKC maxed out at 91 degrees and I ran in the heat of the day.  It was a good taste of things to come. 

I also tried out a new pair of Brooks that I won as a result of the race series in 2010.  I've had them for a few months, but have been scared to run in anything but my usual Adrenaline's.  I went ahead and tried out the Ravenna's today and really enjoyed them.  They are a guidance shoe which should fit my gait better.  I'm a mild overpronator so I think the Adrenaline's provide a little too much support. However, my body is used to the Adrenaline so it scares me to switch to a new shoe.  The last time I switched to a different shoe I had problems with pain on the outer part of my foot.  So far the feet feel good post-run and I think I'll continue to work in the new shoes on my shorter runs.  I like the heel cup of the Ravenna shoe better than the Adrenaline.  It a little more open and doesn't rub my Achilles as much.  I've had issues with my Achilles since my first marathon so any relief there will be a welcome change.  I'll report back later if I decide to make an official switch.

Now it's time to settle in for a little relaxation time.  I'm planning on watching some NCAA Women's Final Four action and the Academy of Country Music Awards.  I'm a huge country music fan so I can't wait to see some new music.  Run happy friends.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dream Big. Work Hard. Make It Happen.

My mantra for 2011 has been stuck in my head a lot lately.  "Dream big.  Work hard.  Make it happen."  I say it to myself when I think about skipping a workout.  I say it to myself when I get frustrated and feel overwhelmed.  I repeat it to myself when I know I need to push a little harder in a workout.  It's seven little words that are etched in my brain.  It's seven words that I hope to carry with me the rest of my life.  Every journey starts with a dream.  A dream of crossing a finish line, reaching new heights, and pushing yourself to do something you never thought possible not too long ago.  I've received a lot of questions the past couple of weeks about my passion for endurance sports.   Most people assume I've been doing this for several years.  They are shocked to learn I've only been pursuing my dreams for a little over 2 years.  They look at me and say they can't do it.  I look right back at them and say "Dream big.  Work hard.  Make it happen."  Nothing is impossible.  It all starts with one step. 

This past week I was asked to fill out a survey for my 5-year service award banquet at my current employer.  I'm not a big fan of questions that ask about your most memorable moment or a random fun fact that most people don't know about you.   However, both questions were on this survey and it was surprisingly easy for me to fill out.  I remember vividly the day I signed up for my first half marathon in 2009 as a result of my company's race sponsorship policy.  It's my best memory from the past 5 years at my job and one I'll always remember no matter where I end up in the future.  Without the push from my employer, I'm not sure how long it would have taken me to make that first leap into endurance sports.  Thanks to my current quest to become an Ironman, my fun fact was an easy shoo-in.  Plus, what Ironman-in-training doesn't like to tell people what they are up to at the moment?!  Now I'll have even more people around to keep me accountable. 

The rest of this week was pretty routine.  My work schedule was a little more relaxed so I avoided the 4:30 AM wake-up calls.  After last weekend's duathlon, my Achilles was pretty tender so I took a couple of extra rest days and it did wonders for the soreness.  I'm really trying to be smart about my body and try not to push too hard, too soon.  It's still 21 weeks until the Ironman so it's a long road ahead still.  One aspect of training that I'm still trying to get used to are the midweek long runs.  Due to the long run and long bike sessions each week, I'm forced to push one to a midweek workout and in the future it will be impossible to get the long bike workout in during the week.  Due to this, I'm forced to do my long run during the week.  This week I ran 10 miles after work on Thursday and I have to admit I'm not a huge fan.  Sitting around at the office all day isn't really a recipe for success when it comes to running.  I guess I'll get used to it eventually, but it's not ideal.  I'll have to key in on nutrition on those days and hopefully be able to combat the heat when the summer starts to settle in.  I'm concerned we're going to have a brutal summer.  We're in a severe drought at the moment and once that summer blocking patten takes hold, it's tough to move it out of the area.  I'll be fighting my heat demons pretty regularly it seems.   The plus side is that I'll be in great shape to combat the heat and hills of Louisville in August.

Time for me to get back to chores and get ready for my bike ride tomorrow.  Nothing too crazy on the schedule, but it will be the longest ride on the tri bike to date.  I'm sure my neck and shoulders will love me when I'm finished.  I'm going to practice eating and drinking on the bike tomorrow to start working out some kinks there too.  I'm hoping the 30mph winds don't completely beat me down.  Anyone willing to come pick me up if I do a one-way bike ride with the wind at my back?!