Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mutton Bustin'

We had a darn good weekend in Tejas.

First off, my flight wasn't delayed by the storm in New Jersey, which was absurdly lucky. The flight to Houston before mine was cancelled and the flight after was delayed.

Secondly, I ran well in the last race of the San Angelo Road Lizards trail series. I finished 8th again, good enough for first in my age group for the series. It was probably the first time I've ever had a proper running "race" -- the guys that went into the last race in 5th and 6th in the series (I was 4th) were right with me for most of the way. I don't know how I placed in the overall, but I think I held onto fourth.

Thirdly, I went to my first rodeo, which was really cool. It was about what you expect: lots of livestock, lots of chaps and lots of guys flying into the air. Probably the best part was the mutton bustin' -- you take a bunch of little kids, get them all safety-geared up, plop them on a sheep and see how long they can hang on.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


As a result of all sorts of things going on in my life right now, I've been unable to get my brain to shut off at night. And that's preventing me from getting to sleep.

I've got a few tricks that I typically use in these situations, the first of which is a lifestyle choice.

1) TV/computer off by 8:30. This lets my brain calm down. I clearly don't have any scientific evidence behind this, but I know it works. There's so much noise on TV and the Internet -- when I cut it off early, it gives me a chance to wind down. When I'm not consistent with this, it's usually a sign that I'm over-stressed (either mentally or physically or both). Last night I powered down at 8:00. Tonight I'm planning on not powering up at all.

2) When I'm laying in bed, if I can't get to sleep, I start thinking about relaxing my body, starting from my toes and working my way up. I usually get bored around my calves and nod off.

3) If I still can't get to sleep after trying #2, I use this trick that I learned from this guy (while not even remotely endurance related, this site is impressive if only as a demonstration of the human ability to change its situation). With your eyes closed, look side to side as fast as you can for as long as you can. It's pretty hard and for whatever reason, really knocks me out. The only drawback is that if I need to do it for a long time, my eyes are tired in the morning.

4) Get completely hammered. Unfortunately, this doesn't help with the quality of sleep, but at least it gets my brain to stop working.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hybernation Reflex

So it's finally CRFC in New Jersey. Or maybe even CRGDFC (you can figure that one out). My body and mind took this opportunity to lapse into a dull stupor. Yesterday morning it was like pulling teeth to get out of bed. Today it was pulling teeth without anesthesia. It makes you (that is, me) wonder, how this girl does it every day.

But, I realized how much I love science and cool things and remembered how much scientifically-influenced cool clothing I own. Thermoregulating and wicking and wind-blocking out the wazoo.

So, I sucked it up, layered up (but not so many layers; yay science!) and got out the door into the not-quite-single-digit weather. After five minutes, I was fine. Again, yay science!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Adjusting the schedule

It worked out nicely that I'm going to get to do the whole three-race SARL trail series (originally I was only going to do the first two). This is purely by chance and based on the costs of flights to San Angelo -- I did not plan my trips to see Hannah depending on whether or not I could run around in circles.

Right now I'm in fourth overall in the series. Of course, I don't actually have a shot at the top three, as the series points for the three guys ahead of me are 2pts, 6pts and 9pts, respectively. I have 17 points. Naturally, the spread from fourth to seventh is three points, so, while I can't move up, I can sure slide way back.

I've also decided to race in the Harriman olympic distance tri on May 17 instead of the Devilman sprint in the beginning of May. It costs more, but it's a better/closer race. And it will suit my road bike better as it's got a million feet of climbing. And they give out cooler stuff.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The dude goes to Texas

Somehow I managed to get this enormous beast into a soft-sided travel carrier, through security and onto two different airplanes without sedation. He's a tough little guy.

I believe he was a little shocked (as we were) at the expanse of yard available to him...

...and a little confused as to how he got to where he is at this second.

I don't know my result from the 12(+.4)k trail race on Saturday. Hannah thinks I came in around 8th again. Since I know I finished ahead of some people that beat me last time, theoretically, I've moved up in the series rankings. I do know that eating toast with margarine and jelly 45 minutes before a race is not a good idea. Ugghhh.