Elkhart Lake is Coming (2016)

It is with great pleasure that I announce that this weekend is my first anniversary in Triathlon!

Last year I registered for and subsequently raced my first triathlon. Elkhart Lake promised a great atmosphere and a short distance event that I was sure I could complete with the training I had done. I was given a sense of accomplishment leading up to the event and even following the event. I was sure that this was a sport I was going to continue.

The race was a bit tough for me. I was a first timer getting in the open water for the first time (the day of the race) and was grossly under prepared for the swim. On a 400 meter swim, I stopped several times to catch my breath and re-compose. I probably stopped as many times in Austin and Galveston and they are 5 times as long! Either way, I completed the swim. This year I don’t plan on stopping at all.

The bike was a bit rough as well. I remember the hills killing me, again, I was under prepared for what the race was going to be. I only really remember, vividly, one particular hill that I went up and on the back side coming down gained an enormous amount of speed. At the bottom of that hill was a greater than 90 degree turn where I hit my brakes and slid a bit due to the roads being a little wet. I was lucky enough that my bike recovered and I didn’t hit the ground. This year I plan to be a few MPH faster than last and have a much more successful bike.

The run was the killer for me (though even my time doesn’t reflect accurately how I felt). I was warned of a hill on the back side of the course. I went up the first hill and thought for sure I had overcome the challenge only to find that there was yet another, steeper and longer, hill. I am now prepared for that. I don’t plan on letting the run eat me up again this year.

All in all, I am super excited for this race and to improve my year on year results. Last year I finished in 1 hour 40 minutes. I plan to be a bit quicker this year. My time was good for 3rd from last in my age group. I don’t plan on being there again this year. The top competitors in my age group last year finished in just over 1 hour 10 minutes, I also don’t think I will be there. I only aim to be better than 2015 “Elkhart Lake Nick” and finish with a higher ranking (though this all depends on who shows up on race day).

Congratulations to all of the All in Racing athletes that raced last weekend and to those who will race this weekend with me and in other races.

A New Ride

Two members of our household each got a new ride this weekend…

Lately, our dog walks have gotten longer and longer in time spent, not in distance walked.  Tabasco is 12 years old, and can barely finish our two-mile walk.  She slows down to the point that we are barely making any forward progress.  And sometimes she just flat out refuses to go any further.

Tabasco refuses a walk

I have been trying to convince Nick that Tabasco needs her own set of wheels.  The problem is Tabasco doesn’t like to move unless it’s under her own will.   After much consideration, this weekend we broke down and bought her a wagon.  I wanted something that could be stored easily, especially when traveling, as we are planning a trip that will involve hiking, etc.  Monday afternoon, we did our typical two-mile walk, and waited until she slowed significantly before putting her in the wagon, figuring she would be more accepting of moving forward with someone else in control.  The good thing about lugging around an old dog, is she can’t just jump out of a moving wagon; it’s a long, slow process.  So every time she would stand up, we would stop moving, calm her and make her sit down, before moving forward again.  I won’t say she liked it, but she did much better than we both expected.  Now we just need to buy her some doggles, and she’ll be good to go (kidding)!

Red Heeler, Dog Wagon

The other new ride purchased this weekend was a new car for Nick.  In an effort to downsize and find a more gas-efficient vehicle, Nick has been eyeing a new car for a few months now.  He has been looking at different hatchbacks and smaller SUVs.  We wanted something comfortable to ride in for long road trips, roomy enough to take the dogs with us along with our luggage, and able to accommodate our bikes too.  We test-drove a handful of vehicles, none quite meeting all of our expectations.  It was not our intention to buy a hybrid, but the only car that fit the bill of power, comfort, spaciousness, fuel efficiency, and durability was the Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.

2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

We are looking forward to loading up the A3 for a long trip this summer.

Alpine Apple Cinnamon Four Points Bar

Folks, I don’t know that I have negatively reviewed anything yet on the site.  That is changing today.

A few months ago, we received a Four Points bar in a monthly nutrition box.  For my ride and run today, I needed something and chose it out of our box.  It was the Apple Cinnamon flavor and . . .

IT

WAS

BAD.

The flavor was not good, the texture was not good, and overall it was not pleasant to eat.  I took my first bite and was not happy, but I was willing to keep trying. I took a second bite and was totally displeased, so I stopped eating it.  Emily saw my face and offered to take a bite.  She was also not pleased by the flavor either.

I have two thoughts on why the flavor wasn’t good.

1. The outside of the bar was covered in dry cinnamon, this caused a slight peppery taste and gave me dry mouth.

2. I just don’t like the taste of dried plum and fig, which were the first two ingredients, a bit odd since it was an apple-flavored bar.

Anyway, that is what I have to say, and I don’t believe I will try out any more of their bars (which is disappointing, since they are a Colorado company and I would love to support them).

Under the Weather

Nick and I have both been sick.  We haven’t been exercising (sorry Coach), and have pretty much been bums lately.  We will be back soon!

Regular posting will begin again this weekend.  Thanks for your patience.

2016 IMTX Congrats

Nick and I typically spectate at Ironman Texas because, when we lived in Texas, it was only a few miles from our house.  We watched it this weekend via lifestream, wishing we were there to cheer on the athletes. IMTX Live Coverage

Congratulations to all who competed in Ironman Texas this weekend.  The bike course was less than desirable; the weather during the race was horrible, enough to stop the race momentarily; and you persevered.  You accepted the challenge that was Ironman Texas!

A Few New Things

I’ve been rushing home (to get away from work) every day this week to check the mailbox.  I ordered some things and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of each one.

  1. A new, much needed saddle.  I’ve been having some discomfort in the seat, and hoping this new saddle will make for a smoother, less painful ride.  I spoke with Rachel at Cobb Cycling, and am now the new owner of their Randee saddle.  During my two-hour trainer ride today, I was alleviated of some of the pressure I was experiencing.  I hope with some minor adjustments, I will once again be comfortable in the saddle.
  2. Handlebar tape.  I’ve been wanting to personalize my bike a bit, so I started with a simple and inexpensive upgrade.  I wrapped the bars tonight, which was much easier than I expected.
  3. New Handle Bar TapeThe package I received today was my new tri kit!  It matches my new handlebar tape, but no pictures until I use it.  My first tri this season is Elkhart Lake Sprint on June 11th!

I’m excited about all of my new goodies, and I’m sure there’s more to come…