Monday, August 1, 2011

What an amazing week

So, my FUNemployment is over. I started my new job. Last week I definitely made the most of it though and tried to do all kinds of fun stuff. This weekend was the icing on the cake.

After last weekend in Portland running the Old Port Half with all my friends and hanging out by the pool I didn't think it would be possible to top how much fun we had. I spent all of last week trying.

Monday, I just relaxed, rested, and recovered from the half marathon. I took a lazy day and just did some stuff around my house like laundry and cleaning. Tuesday morning the gas company came to replace my gas meters and informed me that my older than dirt boiler needed to be replaced or it could kill me by carbon monoxide poisoning. Bummer, but my house is old so I knew it would need to be replaced eventually. At least now I have my severance package money to pay for it. After the gas guy left I went for a steamy and somewhat soggy six mile run in the humidity. When I got home I was dripping as if I had just stepped out of my shower. Then my friend Ann called and wanted to go for a short run with me. She came over later in the afternoon and we did a nice 4 mile run through downtown Lowell. It was still very sticky out and we both were wishing we had brought some water with us by the time we were half way through the run. We managed to finish the run at a very good pace and feeling great and decided to reward ourselves with dinner at Life Alive. It was awesome as always.

Wednesday, I did another steamy six miler and then met up with my friend Moe in the evening to give her some bike pedal lessons. She got clipless pedals (the kind your shoe snaps into) for her bike and want to practice riding with them. I told her not to worry, that she would fall over, but it wouldn't hurt and she would quickly get the hang of it. It was still very amusing to watch. She even brought elbow pads to ride with. Sure enough, just like I said, she got comfortable and a little cocky and then couldn't clip out and fell over. We had a good chuckle and she got right back up and tried again. We ended up riding about 4 miles around in circles in a parking lot, then I suggested we try going for a short road ride to Kim's house only a few miles away. We made it there and back safely and Moe felt much more confident in her pedal skills.

Thursday morning I got up to do my long run because Saturday I was doing a century ride (100+ miles) with Moe. Again it was hot and humid, but not nearly as bad as the week before. I started sort of early and just took my time and enjoyed the run. It was slower than I would have liked but I felt good the entire time so I'm not too worried. I got home and did the ritual ice bath and still managed to melt all the ice within the first 5 minutes of sitting in the tub. It felt so nice to just sit in the cool water though. Thursday evening was Ann's retirement party. It was just a gathering of friends at a local restaurant. It was nice to see some former coworkers that I hadn't seen in a month and great to tell them that I already got a new job. I tried REALLY hard not to gloat and rub it in that I seriously scored and feel like I won the lottery by being laidoff, I think I did ok, but it was tough not to show how extremely happy I am to not be working for the evil empire anymore.

Friday morning I met up with Moe again and we did a nice 14 mile bike ride to boost her confidence even more with the pedals. She finished the ride in one piece and didn't fall at all. It was great. After the ride she went to work and I went back to bed. She texted me in the afternoon and asked if I wanted to go for a short run so naturally I said yes. We did a quick easy 4 miler and made plans for the next day's event - the century ride.

Saturday morning I got up and ate some breakfast and headed to Lexington High School for the start of the century ride. I loaded up my bike pouch with drinks and mini Lara Bars and NRG Bars. Moe met me there and a few of her other friends showed up and we were off. We started at about 7:30am. I couldn't tell you the towns we went through, but it was a really nice ride. Rolling hills and gorgeous countryside. Then Steve, moe's friend got a flat tire. We stopped and waited for him to fix it. Then we were off again. Miles were ticking away and before I knew it, I was at the 35 mile rest stop way ahead of the rest of the group. I had gotten in the back wheel of a small group in front of us and drafted off them for the last 10-15 miles to the rest stop and lost track of the rest of the group. The rest stop was the turning point where you could decide to do a metric century (62 miles) or the full century (100+ miles). I waited and after almost 45minutes Moe and the rest of the group finally showed up. Steve flatted again and they were all struggling. I felt bad because I was doing awesome.

SO, after some discussion and refilling water bottles they all decided to go the shorter route and I decided to take on the full century, ALONE. I took off and tried to catch up with one of the other groups on the road in hopes of doing a little more drafting and conserving my energy. We hit some serious hills around mile 50 and I spotted some other riders at the rest stop near mile 60 or so. I skipped the rest stop and tried to catch them. I would get within a bike length or two and we would climb another hill and I would get dropped. I worked so hard to try and close the gap but I just couldn't do it. It was really fun trying though. Eventually I gave up and just tried to enjoy the ride. I don't really remember much between mile 75 and 100 except being hungry and thirsty and angry at every hill I had to climb. I remember counting down the miles I had left from mile 90 on and then when I got to mile 104 where the ride was suppose to end I realized I was no where near the end. It destroyed me. I had to power on though and get to the end. I wasn't sure how much farther it was but I knew it couldn't be too much. The last few miles were some steep climbs and I just wanted to be done.

FINALLY, I made it. 107 miles DONE! I pretty much collapsed and I was delirious and dehydrated, but I did it. Moe was there waiting for me with her friend Steve and they congratulated me while laughing at the sad state I was in. I was totally spent. I didn't even have the energy to get my car keys out of my bike bag. I'm surprised I could even walk. I was slurring words and dropping F-bombs like it was my job. I'm so glad I did it though. It would have been more fun if I wasn't alone, but I accomplished yet another amazing goal on my "to-do" list so I am extremely proud of myself.

After the century, Moe and I went to my house, showered, and drank some more water before heading over to Cherie's house for some dinner. I made a chocolate chip peanut butter cheesecake with a brownie crust for Steve's birthday. It was amazing. Right when we got there Cherie had some stuff already BBQ'd and I dug right in. I think in the time that we were there I managed to go through 6-8 bottles of water and only peed once. I was severely dehydrated. It was a great way to cap off an incredible day.

Sunday morning, believe it or not, I was registered for a sprint triathlon. I did contemplate skipping it, but when I woke up I felt pretty good so I decided to go for it. It was a really short distance (1/4m swim, 11m bike, 3m run). Plus it was in Lowell so it wasn't like I had to drive wicked far to get to the race. I got there and set up my transistion and walked around a bit talking to a few people. Then the race started. Much to my surprise I felt great in the water. I swam probably the best I have ever done. I completed the quarter of a mile swim in 8 minutes. Hopped on my bike and my body was instantly angry with me, but I got over it and settled into the saddle for the short ride. About a mile in I heard a loud clank and thought I just hit something on the road, turns out after inspecting my bike post-race I had broken a spoke and my rear wheel was completely warped and rubbing on the brakes. No wonder it felt like it was really difficult to ride. I just thought I was tired. I finished the bike and started the run and I knew the run would be the toughest part for me considering the work my legs did the day before. I actually felt ok though. I finished the race and felt pretty good about it. Nothing spectacular, but I did it and I did it the day after doing a century ride for the first time.

I went home after the race and just slept all afternoon. It felt really good to do nothing. Monday was my first day of work at my new job so I needed to be well rested and ready to go. My first day of work was orientation. I felt like a little kid on the first day of school. It had been 10 years since I started a new job so it was very exciting for me. New people, new buildings, new procedures and policies to learn. It was a long day but it felt great to be back to work and taking on new challenges. Afterall that was my New Year's resolution. I can check off "get a new job" from my to-do list now.

The next day, I started my first day actually at my new job not in orientation. I got a tour of the facility and some introductions and saw a lot of familiar faces so it was a nice easy transition. At lunch I checked the results that were finally posted from the triathlon on Sunday - I GOT 1ST PLACE!!!!!! I will have to email the race director to see if I won anything. I didn't think I would place, nevermind come in first.

Lots of exciting stuff coming up fast, another triathlon, a half ironman, reach the beach, a half marathon, and then the Chicago marathon. Stay tuned for more.

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