As the sunset of the final day of my last ever summer break approaches, I couldn't be more excited for the days to come. I've spent the last several days getting settled into my new single bedroom apartment and have arrived at a point where I can take a deep breath, do a little blogging, and take a massive load off from the last two weeks.
My time working at Fleet Feet over the summer and living with my parents for probably the last time was a nice change of pace from my spring semester, which now feels like almost over a year ago. After a massively fun weekend in Panama City, I spent my long summer days oscillating between 35+ hour weeks fitting folks into shoes and early rises for solo long rides along the miles and miles of pavement, winding through who knows how many acres of land east of 431. I made it up to Nashville for the fourth of July to do some riding there with the huge groups that routinely meet. Despite several opportunities to do so, I didn't participate in a single race all summer aside from the Cotton Row 10k back in May (free entry). Every Saturday morning, I elected instead to stay the course with my training. A measly 5k isn't worth sacrificing a morning that could have been spent riding long. Plus I always had work on Saturdays.
The weekends came and went and seemed to simply blend together at times. I started getting fewer hours at Fleet Feet and was left by my lonesome in a house with two happy sausage dogs and my training sessions to keep me company. I was longing to get back to the plains.
Two Wednesdays ago, I called my previous roommate and had a little "oh, $*!%" moment when I realized I had to be out of my old place and into a new one by Saturday morning at 9. After an incredibly stressful 72 hours of apartment hunting, packing, moving, and going to the hospital for a nasty staph infection on my knee, I got everything done that needed doing. Though I would be remiss if I didn't credit my clutch friends that really came though in helping me out when I needed it most. Thanks Trey, Robert, Sam, Bo, and Will.
By the time the Mountain Lakes Triathlon weekend came around, I was stoked to get back to racing and away from Huntsville. The race went reasonably well. I really didn't know how I would measure up but hopefully this summer's training will have paid off.
The swim leg of this race was one of the best swims I think I've had during a tri. It was obvious those ahead of me had grossly overestimated how quickly they could swim a 600. The racers were let into the water one at a time in 5 second intervals instead of in waves. When it was my turn I immediately began passing slower swimmers who had started ahead of me. Aside from veering to the right a bit as I was nearing the shore, I felt strong and smooth the whole way.
My bike went well too. I was easily keeping up with and passing those with the tricked out carbon disk wheel bikes and the like. The 16.2 mile loop course went by quickly as I maintained a high power output which resulted in about a 24.2 mph average. T2 went smoothly enough and the run pretty much felt the same all the way through, that is, I was really sucking wind but felt like I maintained very even splits. With the finish line in sight, I really didn't have much of a kick left. I averaged 5:46/mile and was well enough satisfied with that, not exceeding my expectations, but, hey, speed work on the track wasn't exactly the main focus of the summer's training.
The day's efforts landed me in the top ten and second in my age group among a very competitive field.
I rolled through Birmingham around one that afternoon and met my good friend Dan Filer at a Korean joint for an amazing meal of authentic Korean food, the likes my taste buds haven't had the privilege of enjoying since I was in the homeland itself.
I have another two days before classes begin and already I'm really getting used to this whole living alone thing. My schedule allowing me 4 day weekends every weekend of the semester isn't gonna hurt either.
Now I'm ready for some football. WDE.