Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Bleh, Rain

We had such nice weather for awhile there, and I was able to get out and really enjoy some gorgeous runs and bike rides. The flowers are phenomenal right now, one of my favorite places to run is a rhododendron garden that's up on a high hill in town. The fields outside of town are so green and full of birds and wildlife. Meadowlarks, great blue heron, osprey, kestrel, deer, raccoons fishing in the creeks, nutria. And the wildflowers by the side of the road are just stunning. Wild iris are out right now, and lupine. But every time I ride, I end up with my nose and eyes streaming. The pollen season is definitely a double-edged sword!

This week, weather has bounced from sun to rain to thunderstorms and marble-sized hail. I looked at that from my living room window and thought "some poor bastard is out on his bike right now, twenty miles from home and getting pelted by those." I had to go out and rescue some of our animals, and it felt like God was hurling marbles at my head. I'm glad I wasn't out one one of those long rides, where it seems like you get the absolute farthest from home before the black clouds boil up and the skies open up on you.

And now I should go to and see what my ride has in store for me today. The view out the window is not promising.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Six Months to Ironman

The official countdown has started. With only six months to go, this is when I need to get serious about training, right? I have been working up to the Ironman for six years already since our last child's birth: a steady progression from sprint triathlons through Olympic distance, half marathons, half-Ironman, full marathon and now here we are. The terror is only starting to set in, just slightly. Mostly about getting in the water with more people than the entire population of my hometown. But also about being overtrained, undertrained, injured, showing up at the race and forgetting my bike, getting five flat tires, heat exhaustion, and all the other million things that newbie Ironpersons worry about. I have dreams, not very often, but occasionally. Dreams about things like showing up and having to put together my bike from scratch on the morning of the race because the shipping company disassembled it. Or going down to the beach for the swim and finding all the water drained away by a tsunami. That kind of thing.

A two-hour bike ride today over several large hills tells me I haven't been doing nearly enough biking lately. Swimming's my strong suit and I can always go the distance there. A 14 mile hill run last Sunday left me with hardly a fatigued muscle, so things are looking okay in the running department. It's just time to ramp up the mileage and get down to business. Stay tuned.