Friday, September 24, 2010

When I Grow Up...

This fall, Chad started his last year of grad school. He will be graduating from Asbury Seminary in May, and then we will be moving to Louisiana in mid-to-late June. We are 98% sure we will be moving to Louisiana, as Chad is a candidate in the Louisiana conference for the United Methodist church. He will not be far enough along in the candidacy process for a guaranteed appointment in June 2011, so things are pretty much up in the air for us right now. This is a bit scary for me since I am such a planner. But, I know that the Lord will send us where we are supposed to go, and I am really trusting in that right now. Even though it is a bit scary for me, it is also incredibly exciting. We will be much closer to our families once we are in Louisiana, and I really can't wait for that.

The thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is what am I going to do (career-wise) once we move. That is another thing that is totally up in the air! It really depends on where we move to - if we are in a university town like Ruston, Natchitoches, Baton Rouge or Lafayette (fingers crossed, we are hoping we will land in one of those cities) then I will try to find a job in higher ed. administration. And maybe go back to school for a Master's degree or teaching certificate.

But, we could also be in a small town where those opportunities aren't available. Who knows! It is kind of driving me crazy. But, I know I just need to take a step back and be patient and trust in the Lord. The good news is that I have a long list of "things I want to be when I grow up" career options. I started typing them up and knew that I had to share them here because some of them are pretty funny.

So, over the course of my life, I have at one point or another wanted to be one of the things below (in no particular order):
  1. Hairstylist
  2. Public speaking/communications teacher or professor
  3. Radio DJ
  4. Published author
  5. P.E. teacher
  6. Guidance counselor
  7. Communications analyst/consultant
  8. Professional athlete
  9. Education administration (registrar/principal/provost, etc.)
  10. Small business owner
  11. Real estate agent
  12. Lawyer
  13. Letter carrier
  14. Real World cast member
Let's just say that #1 and #8 probably aren't going to happen any time soon. And #14 wouldn't really be a good career move, unless I was able to get on one of those Real World/Road Rules Challenge shows. Hopefully where ever we move I will be able to do at least one of these things!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

2k Race for a Cure race report

This past Saturday I ran the Jessamine County 2k Race for a Cure (a race title that always reminds me of Michael Scott's Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun Run Race for the Cure), which was part of the Jessamine Jamboree festivities. I love the Jessamine Jamboree!

I started off the morning by watching September 11th footage, which was not a good idea! It was pretty horrifying watching the minute by minute play by play of the events, and I had such a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. What a horrible day for so many people in this country and around the world.

At 8:30 a.m. I headed down to the race site to pick up my packet. It was a pretty stormy morning, and on my way home it began to absolutely pour. It was good though because the storm moved through quickly and the rest of the day was pretty clear and sunny.

Last year the race started at 10:00am, but they encouraged everyone to arrive by 9:45 since Main Street would be closed for the race and then the Jamboree parade. I planned to leave the house at 9:30 to get to the start in plenty of time, but "digestive issues" delayed me a bit and I didn't get started on my run to the race until 9:40. I was sure I would be ok though, because I could be at the race start by 9:50 in time for the 10:00 start.

I ran down Main Street towards Lake Mingo, and when I was about .1 miles away, I heard a siren and saw the first couple of runners heading right towards me. Oh no!! I guess the race did start at 9:45! I wasn't really sure what to do, so I just ran to the corner where runners were turning onto Main Street and turned around joined them, cutting off about .1 miles of the course. My adrenaline was really pumping and I easily settled into the third place spot. However, I had no intention of "taking" third place since I didn't run the whole course. I ran pretty steadily the whole way, and I loved passing by our house and seeing Chad and Emma cheering me on from the front yard! As I neared the finish, two girls (an older lady and a younger girl) were really booking it, so I dropped back so that they could take 3rd and 4th, since they actually earned it!

I finished in 8:33 (7:07 pace) so I was pretty pleased. I beat myself up for a bit about missing the start, but the reality is that if I would have left our house any earlier I probably would have pooped in my pants at some point during the run. I will gladly take a DQ over that, especially when it comes to a local 2k race!

Chad and Emma walked down to meet me at the finish, and then we walked home and got ready to watch the parade. Our friend Marilyn happened to be downtown to take care of some things at the post office, which is caddy-corner to our house, so we asked her if she wanted to watch the parade with us. It was a really fun morning sitting on the porch with Chad, Emma and Marilyn, drinking coffee and watching the folks of Jessamine County stream by on parade floats. Nicholasville is a very, very interesting community - there is extreme wealth, but there is also extreme poverty. I would say that the majority of the residents are lower-to-middle class blue collar folks. Marilyn is from Canada (but has lived in the U.S. for years) but it was still funny to see her reaction to good ole American things like kids in pageants, elementary school cheerleaders, and politicians on floats.

Chad and I have loved our time in Nicholasville, and it was kind of sad to think that this was our last Jamboree! We spent the rest of the day enjoying the festivities - we got burgers from the Cattleman's Association and then deep-fried moonpies (on a stick) from a vendor.

I ended the day by staying up until 11:30 (unheard of!) watching more 9/11 footage on the History Channel. I was completely enthralled with it, and I could not quite believe that this actually happened in NYC 9 years ago. It seemed so surreal, but I remember sitting in my 11th grade political science class in Clear Lake, TX watching it all happen live. When we go to New York in November we are going to visit Ground Zero, which I am sure will be very moving.

Overall, Saturday was such a fantastic day spending time with Chad and Emma and celebrating our little town. I know this is cheesy, but I was reminded of how very grateful I am for the freedoms that we have in America.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tri for Sight race report

The Tri for Sight was hands down one of the most well organized races I have ever done! The transition set-up and the swim start helped to ensure that the bike and run would not be extremely crowded, which was great!

Let's start from the beginning. On Saturday morning, I headed down to UK's Commonwealth Stadium to pick up my packet. Pick-up was very easy, plus they were giving away Powerbars, Power gels, and new Powerbar Ironman drinks. Free samples are always nice! I picked up lunch from Moe's (vegeterian burrito) and headed home to rest for the rest of the afternoon. Our good friends Justin, Charis and their daughter Ruby came into town on Saturday, so we had dinner with them at Ramsey's on Saturday night. It was so good to see them! I had a grilled chicken salad, and a pretty big piece of black bottom banana pie...the salad was "eh" but the pie was to die for!

After making sure I had all of my gear ready and packed, I went to bed around 9:15, with my alarm set for 4:30am. Morning came soon and before I knew it I was up eating Cheerios and drinking coffee. I wanted to get to the transition area around 6:00ish, so I left the house at 5:40 and headed into Lexington. I felt pretty weird on race morning though - I think it is because I wasn't really excited! I didn't have any adrenaline pumping or anything, it was more of just a "let's get this over with" feeling, which I didn't like! I figured that once I got to the race my spirits would improve.

Chad wasn't able to go the race as he had obligations at our church, but I did drive the truck. It was nice to not have to deal with a bike rack! I just put my bike in the bed and off I went. Once I got to the race site I easily found a good parking spot - plenty of parking is a big plus of having a race that starts and ends in a stadium parking lot! I got body marked, got my timing chip and then found my spot in transition. The racks were a little crowded, but nothing too bad. Oh and I may have forgotten to mention that it was only 49 degrees at this point! I was a little concerned about freezing my butt off on the bike! After getting set up in transition and making a few port-a-pottie stops, I stripped down to my tri shorts and top to try to get used to the cool weather. It actually wasn't too bad! There was no wind, so that helped.

After a brief pre-race meeting, all of the triathletes (there was also a duathlon going on) headed down to the Lancaster Aquatic Center (UK's pool) which was .25 miles away. I wondered how I would fare after the swim - running soaking wet and barefoot in 50 degree weather for .25 miles! Once we got to the pool (which is an incredible facility with a 50 meter pool) all of the athletes gathered up in the balcony. Groups of about 30 or so people were brought down to the pool deck, by number. Athletes then went into the pool every 10 seconds or so. I was #335 out of 450 or so, I was definitely towards the back. The race started at 7:15am, but I didn't get into the pool until after 8:30! This was great because the sun was out and warming up the temps by the time I got out. The swim was a 50 meter pool, and there were 8 lanes. We were to swim up and down each lane for a total of 100 meters per lane, 800 meters total. By the time my group got in the pool it was kind of crowded, but not too bad. We actually got down to the deck a little later than we were supposed to, so most of the group in front of us were already well on their way through the pool which helped.

I usually panic at some point during the swim, whether in a pool or open water, but it is usually due to going out too hard and not being able to catch my breath. I stayed nice and steady and relaxed during this swim and never got panicky feeling. The wide lanes really helped, plus I had a lot of clear water behind me and in front of me for the most part. I ended up passing 6 people, which is always a nice feeling. I was hoping to finish the swim around 20:00, and I climbed out of the pool at 19:45.

The run back to transition included a flight of stairs, but other than that it was pretty much a straight shot back through campus to Commonwealth Stadium. It was a gorgeous day already - bright sun, no clouds and no wind, so the cool temps actually felt good! Since the racks were set by race number and the swim was done by race number (rather than age group), all of the racks leading up to my rack were empty (for the most part). This made finding the rack super easy! In transition I threw on a long sleeve wicking shirt, my helmet, sunglasses and shoes and off I went.

I did not do very well on the bike. I haven't been riding nearly as much as I should have (should ride at least 3 times per week, I've been averaging 1!) and I wasn't really prepared for a fast 18 mile ride. The course was beautiful and mostly flat, which was very nice. The police were out in full force, blocking intersections for us which was fantastic. Also a UK sorority was volunteering for the race and they were spread out among the whole bike course shouting genuine words of encouragement - it was really nice! The best thing about the bike is that I hardly saw any huge clumps of bikers or drafting. I think this is because the swim was spaced well (by projected finish time, not age group), which spaced the bikers well, which spaced the runners well. Organization is key!

I finished the bike in 1:09:02 and was happy to start the run. It was a four mile out and back run around the perimeter of Commonwealth Stadium and over into the UK arboretum. I felt great on the run and was able to maintain a decent 8:33 pace. As always during the run, I usually get my legs under me around mile 2. Since this was a 4 mile race, it was nice to pick up speed after the turn around as I headed back to the finish. I passed two ladies in my age group in the last mile and then had a short sprinting dual with another lady at the very end. I turned the final corner and put the wheels on, confident that I could pass her. She picked up the speed too and we were neck and neck but I think I beat her by a few steps. It was pretty fun! The crowd was cheering and the announcer was like "who's it gonna be!" - she wasn't in my age group, but this is a race after all so it was nice to finish strong!

Official results:
  • Swim: 19:45 (11th in AG)
  • T1: 4:16 (included .25 mile run from pool to transition)
  • Bike: 1:09:02 (13th in AG)
  • T2: 1:55
  • Run: 34:11 (8:33 pace, 5th in AG)
  • Overall time: 2:08:46
I saw a lot of photographers out on the course, but I haven't been able to find any pictures online yet. Once they are posted I will try to post some here!

I am a little happy and a little sad that my triathlon season is over. I hope to do one more race in Kentucky next April before we move to Louisiana in the summer. There are lots of great road races and triathlons in Louisiana, so a new racing "scene" is definitely something to look forward to!

Next up, the Jessamine County Race for Cancer 2k this weekend where I will hopefully defend last year's 3rd place overall finish!