Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy, happy

I was perusing yoga blogs when I came across this gem. So if you see a crazy lady doing yoga on a mountaintop with a glass of sangria next to her mat, come say hi. I'll appreciate the break.

Things that make me happy:

1) Watching my dog run off-leash.
2) My own lane at the pool.
3) A bat-free night.
4) Mountains.
5) Yoga class.
6) New magazine.
7) Above mentioned sangria.
8) Donuts.
9) Movie previews.
10) Tailwinds.

(I realize doing a list as a blog entry is kind of cheating. But I just don't care.)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hello Mountains

Boyfriend and I are four days into our Colorado trek and just like last year are wondering why the hell we live in Kansas City. My exact words were, "If you get any job offer in Colorado, take it." I'd make a fine barista.

After the lovely Tour De Kansas, we stopped in Denver for the night. Then next day we headed to Leadville to watch the Leadville 100 Trail Bike Race. Leadville is not much of a tourist attraction, which is fine. It's an old mining town turned endurance mecca. Fortunately, Boyfriend's aunt is a resident and kindly loaned us her apartment for the weekend. Doubly fortunately her apartment is literally right at the start of the race.

We spent Saturday ogling fine mountain bikes. I'm never sure what I'm looking at, so we have a code: "green" means a bike he'd love to have, "yellow" is a maybe and "red" means his current steed is nicer. I like to simplify things.

My favorite part of the race was watching Rebecca Rusch beat the women's record (she set it last year) by 15 minutes. She is simply amazing and maybe the best female endurance athlete around. (Or at the very least ties with Chrissy Wellington.) Check her out: I took the coolest pic of her crossing the finish line. (You know when you're just an average photographer and then randomly take an amazing pic? Yeah, that's it.) Anyway, I forgot the cord that downloads pics to my computer, so I'll post it later.

Sunday, the Leadville Race Series offers a nice little 10k for those of us who don't even pretend to want to race 100 miles. I knew about the race, but being on vacation did not want to commit to anything. So an hour before the start, I decided to register and kept my fingers crossed the 10,200 foot altitude would not kill me. Ha.

Though a mere six miles, it was the worst kind. An out and back that was all downhill the first three miles. Which means the last three are all up hill. The out portion I'm just trying to take it easy as the realization hits me how awful the second half will be. And it was. But that's okay. Finishers got a handy dandy coffee mug, which I'll actually use. I finished 34/108 women overall, which pleased me, but just missed breaking an hour, which did not.

Unfortunately, I've been permanently dehydrated since arriving in Colorado and the race did not help. The remainder of the day was spent pulling over at various rest stops on the drive to Breckenridge. We arrived to find our condo lovely with a 25 yard lap pool and the yoga studio is two blocks away. I love vacation.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Softride Has Left The Building

Today I bid adieu to my first triathlon bike – a Softride Rocket TT named Sally. (“Ride, Sally, Ride...”) While technically still mine until the ebay auction ends tomorrow, she has been dropped off at the bike store for clean up and packing. We’ll ship her off to the new owner this weekend and that will be the end of my beam bike era.

A Softride is considered old school in the triathlon world and is mocked mercilessly by roadies. Sally has a carbon beam, no down tube and 650 wheels – basically the low-rider Cadillac of bikes. While it doesn’t have a stiff suspension or a brag-worthy weight, it has one thing – comfort. This is something I desperately needed when training for my first Ironman.

Sally raced at Kona in 2001 and Wisconsin in 2003. She was dependable and attention-getting. Like riding a motorcycle, Softride enthusiasts also offered the casual hand wave when you encountered another one on the road. However, there are fewer out there these days. The Softride company went out of business and the focus on comfort has been replaced with obsessions of positioning, speed, and weight.

That’s all fine and good. I, too, succumbed to the lure of a new bike. I love my Felt B2 (named Axl) with a passion. He is a gorgeous, fast, light machine. But I still felt that pull of nostalgia as Boyfriend drove Sally away. A decade ago she was on the Queen K. Now she’s a triathlon relic. I hope her new owner knows he's getting a tiny piece of triathlon history and treats her accordingly.

I tip a bottle of Gatorade to you, Sally. Cheers.