As you can see from my previous post, life is pretty busy in the Homo-Wint household so you'll have to forgive the severe lack of blogging. Weekdays are typically jam-packed from dawn to dusk and by the time the weekends roll around I just feel like slowing things down and doing more "normal people" activities. Although somehow I keep signing up for running races on the weekends. I just counted it up: I have done running events on six out of the past ten Saturdays! After next weekend I'll be at seven of eleven. I also sneaked in an Olympic Distance triathlon (in Costa Rica) and signed up for a metric century bike ride (which I bailed on due to really crappy weather) in these same past ten weeks. Isn't this what perfectly normal people do with their weekends?!
My rationale for the running races is that it's all great training for the bigger picture. It keeps me motivated by providing "mini-targets" to aim for while at the same time it's a great way to measure early season progress and get a little practice racing and pacing. It's a nice way to reaffirm that the hard work you're putting in is paying off. I've incorporated running "training races" in my early season plan the last several years and adamantly believe that it has been a huge help in setting the groundwork for a strong triathlon season. Although I must admit, this year definitely tops them all for the total number of early season running events that I've done!
I actually started this year a bit less running fit than past years, due to taking some extended time off in the winter to work through a lingering ankle and foot issue. So I've found myself racing my way into running shape; it has been a new and interesting experience! With the exception of one minor blip in Moab (where I ran an all-around dumb race that was made especially memorable when I got tangled up with another runner) I've been able to maintain a steady rate of improvement. For the real running aficionados out there you can search my results at:
http://www.slctrackclub.org/raceResults.html (10K and 15K)
http://www.moabhalfmarathon.org/halfmarathon/results.cfm (Half Marathon)
http://www.stridersrunning.com/ (10 Mile, Half Marathon, and soon-to-be 30K)
http://www.racecenter.com/results/ (Salt Lake City Half Marathon)
Despite all these various events, I really do manage to squeeze in some normal activities as well! Yesterday I spent most of the day (after running the Salt Lake Half of course) tinkering around in the yard and preparing the garden beds for planting. We're putting in raised beds so that we can manage the soil more effectively and (hopefully) keep the dogs out of the vegetables, so Albert and I made a trip to our favorite home-improvement store Lowes (I swear we live there!) to buy lumber, steer manure, soil, and wood chips. I also played around with my brand-spanking-new cultivator! I turned a whopping two rows before I managed to get it stuck in the firethorn bushes along the back fence and had to call Albert to the rescue.
I've also recently worked on a little art project for my mom: two sets of Russian nesting egg dolls for her (belated) birthday gift. She had requested one set of birds and another set of safari animals. I think she originally envisioned that Albert the resident aaaah-tist would paint them for her, but he's been so busy studying for his CRT exam that they just weren't getting done. So I took the bull by the horns and painted them myself! And had an absolutely marvelous time doing it. It was really great to get back to my artistic roots and let the creative juices flow...and they turned out really well, if I do say so myself! I was really looking forward to her reaction when they arrived in the mail…too bad that my parents’ too-smart-for-his-own-good border collie Erskine took a liking to them and ate the zebra and the chimpanzee within ten minutes of my mom opening the package. Oh well, I guess it gives me an excuse to paint a few more eggs…
The third big recent project has been the installation of our second bathroom...which is going to take more time but we're not in a rush. We spent a weekend knocking out the old galvanized steel pipes and replacing them with PEX, which was actually rather thrilling! I never though I'd be one for plumbing but I really enjoyed it. It's another of those projects that we started but had to take a break from because of Albert's exams. His semester is essentially over now though and The Big Exam has been passed (!!!) so we'll probably start tackling the bathroom again soon.
As you can see, there is never a dull moment...
...stay posted for upcoming events! I've got several exciting ones coming up: REV3 Knoxville on May 15th, REV3 Quassy on June 5th, and REV3 Portland on July 10th are the next set of three. Check them out at http://rev3tri.com/ and come on out to cheer me on if any of them are in your neck of the woods!