Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back to the Races

After my little vacation in Alabama, I went back to Hawaii. Wow that sounds weird, most people would think the opposite. Back to where I was going. After doing the Aloha run I jumped back on the bike the next day for the normal Tuesday ride of terror. I was able to hang with the front group although Steve C was riding much stronger than before I left. We used to mix it up pretty much but now i was struggling just to hang on his wheel. I know he is a strong rider but to comeback from almost having his leg cut in two during knee surgery to where he is now is pretty amazing.

Sunday morning marked my second race of the year. This time instead of a mass start crit, I competed in a 20 K Time Trial. I took off and was going about 29 right away. It didn't feel too bad so I kept it between 26 and 30 the entire way out. As I neared the turn around cones I was confused because there wasn't any signs stating to turn around. There were also some riders coming back from beyond the turn so I kept riding. Luckily I heard a policeman say to turn around so I only went about 50 meters beyond the turn around but still lost at least 10 seconds if not a few more. Unfortunately, I forgot to reset my computer so I didn't get a good time and had no idea how I finished until they announced the results. I placed 3rd but am still waiting for my actual time to compare it to the two guys ahead of me. Two races, two podium finishes is a pretty good way to start the racing season.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seeing the Nieces and Nephew;Old Friends and the Aloha Run

One of the nice things about going TDY to the mainland is the opportunity to visit family without having to cough up the cost of a plane ticket. The first weekend I rented a car and headed to Atlanta to visit Chris's brother Craig's family. Craig has two children Conner 6 and Tori 3. It had been quite a while since I seen them and they had really grown. Tori is very talkative and was happy to see me when I woke up the first day. Conner is a little more shy but he enjoyed playing football outside. I had a very fun time visiting with them. On Sunday before the super bowl, Craig and I went for a run with a couple of his friends. I ended up running over 7 miles with them which was a great way to prepare to pig out for the super bowl. Craig had several of his Friends over for a party. I had a great time until the Steelers were down in the bottom of the 4th with time running out. Luckily they pulled it out and I ended up winning the pool to top it off.

On the next weekend I headed to southern Illinois to meet my mom, Lucy and the girls. Lucy's youngest Daisy was born in September and I hadn't seen her yet. She was an incredibly good baby. She let me hold her and just smiled and cooed on my lap. Abby still hasn't quite taken to her uncle Steve. She would give me an occasional hug and would tease me but she is definitely a Mommy's girl. I had a great time visiting with them.

After being in the AF for as long as I have, you tend to know someone everywhere you go TDY. This time was no different. My buddy John who was stationed with me in CA and Germany. I spent alot of time at his house while in Alabama. I also got to have lunch with my supervisor from when I cross-trained into manpower. He retired and is working in contracting. It was nice getting to see him.

I came home to a very busy weekend culminating with the Great Aloha run on Monday. I decided to run the race when we met up with Paul and Mel, Chris's cousins and they were running the race so I signed up. I talked to Ben and he said he would run with me as well.
I was surprised how easy of a time I had finding Mel and Paul in a crowd of 20000 but I found them right a way. Paul and I started out together but then he told me to run ahead after the first mile I felt pretty strong the second mile i ran a 645 minute mile. the third mile was right at 7 min so i decided to shoot for a sub hour time. Chris was surprised how soon I passed her. She didn't even have the camera ready. I kept my strong pace but when I crossed the finish time my watch read 1 hour 2 seconds. However, when the official times were posted based on the timing chip my time was 59:50 37th of 868 in my category. My pace was a 7.21 minute mile. Not bad considering I hadn't really trained.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mtn Biking Alabama Style

Saturday morning John and I got up early and headed to the swayback trail on lake Jordan about 45 minutes from Montgomery. The lake had a nice network of trails providing a fun way to get some exercise. It was a bit colder than I was used to but luckily I brought my tights and long sleeve Jersey. I haven't ridden with John since we were stationed at Beale. He still has an aversion to everything spandex. We had a great time. I did manage to crash a couple of times. The second one I landed on a branch and thought I messed up my knee but it was fine after a it loosened back up. John warned me about a real steep section and was curious to see if I could ride it. I gave it 4 hard tries but gave up when I couldn't get over the apex of the steepest section. There was one section that had a nice jump. Since I love to Jump I had to give it a try. Luckily I managed to keep from killing myself.