Sunday, April 25, 2010

My new dresser!

After weeks of looking around at furniture stores and then deciding that they didn't have what I was looking for...and then hawking craigslist every day (apparently I must always have dresser drama, you may recall my previously possessed one here), I finally found the dresser I was looking for...circa late 50s/early 60s...I LOVE this dresser. Solid wood, good joints...got a great deal on it. At some point, I may refinish it darker...but for now it matches my similarly circa-ed bed frame...




(loving the orange lamp too of course :)

Lonestar Triathlon..err..Duathlon...

My second race of the season: Lonestar Olympic Triathlon in Galveston.

It was a pretty nasty morning- rain, wind, stormy...and the wind was moving the buoys on the water (we were swimming in the bay by Moody Gardens), so the race officials decided to cancel the swim portion- moving buoys means you can't swim the distance you are supposed to and also means that the water was waaay too choppy for people to be out there. So we ended up doing a duathlon. Now, official duathlons usually break up the run (so you would do a 2 mile run 18 mile bike 3mile run) or something like that. For ours, we just did the bike and run distances of an Olympic tri (24.8 mile bike, 6.2 mile run).



Drat that wind!

The bike:

I hit 21mph on the bike!!! I had a pretty decent tailwind, so I pushed it pretty hard, knowing that where there is a tailwind, about 99% of the time there is also a headwind :). Sure enough, at the turnaround, whamo! But, it still wasn't that bad. All in all, I averaged about 17.3 mph on the bike, with a total time of 1:26:46. My best bike time ever of that distance

The run:

Lots of concrete on this one. We ran around Moody Gardens. It was hot and there was no shade and I had a lot of stomach cramps (imagine a standard side cramp...but all over your stomach). Weird, because I was hydrating fine. Anyhow, I finished the run in 1:09:41...not my best time ever, but not my worst either.

Fun points:
I've done enough races at this point that this was the first time where I've run into people I've met at others races. And because of the delays due to the swim and unique bike start (time trial start, 3 seconds between each athlete, means you wait for a bit), I had time to chat with my fellow triathleters. It was a lot of fun!

I also got to cross the finish line with my training buddy Lisa...that's never happened before at a tri (she's way faster than me at the swim and we sometimes are in different age categories, so she is always ahead of me), so that was fun :).


Post race picture!

Weird points:

The black Sharpie that they use to body mark us with our race numbers ended up acting as sunscreen and for the time being, part of my race number is etched on my sunburned arm...nice. (see the 4?)



Next race will probably be in June...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Gateway to Kemah triathlon!

Last weekend I completed my first tri of the season. It was an Olympic distance (0.93 mile swim, 24.8 mile bike, 6.2 mile run) called "Gateway to Kemah". This was actually a qualifying race for the infamous Escape from Alcatraz, so the field was pretty competitive (and intimidating!!!). The course was set up similar to the Alcatraz course (probably not as many hills as San Francisco though :) ).


Me and Lisa, pre-race...with our awesome wetsuits! Yay for Xterra sales!

Swim-
A half an hour before the race start, we boarded boats and they took us out a mile from shore. The water was pretty choppy...I have been struggling with some inner ear issues and swimming in a wetsuit was making me seasick (changes your buoyancy and can confuse your vestibular system :)...how's that for a medical term). BUT...the dramamine I took that morning worked AWESOMELY well. As did all the prayers, thank you so much for those! So we jump of the end of the boat, swim to the start buoys, tread water for a few minutes and then the gun goes go, and we started swimming. It was really hard to sight in the water because the swim finish buoys were blue and blended in with the water, the waves were pretty high, so every time you tried to sight, a swell was between you and shore...anyhow, I've been struggling with my swim anyways and the challenging conditions put me in at around 42 minutes...yowsers.

Bike-
The bike took us up and over Kemah bridge (about a 5% grade) twice, then straight out and back, and then we did it all over again. We had a head wind both ways...go figure...so again, my bike time wasn't as great as I wanted it to be, about a mile per hour slower than my last race, BUT my aero bars ROCKED. If I hadn't had them, I would have been going about 3 miles per hour slower. Thanks parents!

Run-
Since I tend to overheat pretty quickly, I took a bottle of gatorade with me to help replace the electrolytes at shorter intervals than the aid stations allow. This worked great and I felt pretty good on the run. I ended up PRing my 10K distance...including a potty break in the middle (just couldn't make it any further :) ). So I was really pleased with that...of course, it's pretty funny that my 10k pace is about 43 seconds slower than my half-marathon pace :)...

So, overall I finished in 3hrs and 33 minutes...about 3.5 minutes slower than my last race, but considering that I did not put in the training that I had wanted to, I didn't get seasick, and I PRed my 10k distance, I am pretty happy with my performance. Philippians 4:13.


Post race...yay for finisher medals!

I have another Olympic tri in one week in Galveston...no hills on this one... :D

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Launch!!!

So I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Florida this past weekend to witness the launch of Discovery!!! I was planning on traveling out there anyways with my friend, Lynn, but then I was awarded a Space Flight Awareness award, which included a trip to see the launch...I love how God takes our plans and makes them bigger and better!

It was an awesome time: awards ceremony on Friday, tours of Kennedy Space Center on Saturday (my first time being there), we had Easter Sunday off (church and Cocoa beach time!), then up at 2am to board the buses to take us out to watch the launch from a distance of 3 miles. Amazing, amazing, experience. I don't know if the right adjectives exist to describe what I was feeling- an overall speechlessness at being able to sit so close and watch something that I have LOVED since I was little launch astronauts into space. Such a privilege to witness it. Beautiful, exciting, emotional (yep, totally teared up :)), and over much too quickly! Here are a few pictures I took, and a video of the launch (well, up through max Q :) ). Enjoy!


This one is for the parents :) Me and my award


In the Saturn 5 facility at KSC, about to start the tour


The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB)- this is where the Saturn 5 was stacked and where the Shuttle is now attached to the External Tank (ET) and Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs)


Holy Space Shuttle Batman!!! You can't see the actual Shuttle because it's behind a protective shroud. They remove that the day before launch (we were there two days before launch). Still, wickedly cool.


The Shuttle lit up on the pad- viewed from the causeway at Banana River, 13 miles away...this is the best my camera could do :)


Eek!!!! Almost time!


video


LAUNCH!!!!!



Blurry, yes. But, proof we were there!!!


Discovery's trail and the sunrise= wow. Empty pad in the lower right hand corner.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

First "for my house" purchase!!!

Aren't they pretty? :) (yeah, yeah, I hear they work well too ;-) )...