Why Not Tri…..

Another Sprint Triathlon in the books this past weekend.  I traveled down to Wasilla, Alaska which is about 5 hours via car from my home.  I neither saw Palin, nor Russia, so in that respect I was a little disappointed 🙂  This is one of my favourite sprints in the state. It small and friendly.  It is still early season here, so the swim is conducted in the Wasilla Pool, but the best thing is for a pool swim its 2 per lane!  NO circle swimming.

The good news is that I got my new race wheels in, bad news is I was not sure if I had time to mount them. So I took them over to GoldStream Sports and had them look them over and tube and rubber them up.  Thank goodness they are so awesome.  It took like 20  minutes from start to finish.  Heck, some days it takes me 3 hours, 3 beers, and a lot of explicatives to change a single tire.

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OMG, So Pretty 🙂
I drove down early Friday morning so that I could pick up my bib.  It was raining most of the way and the forecast was not looking so great. The forecast was cool temps, wind, and rain. Sigh….this might not be pretty at all.  I pick up my packet and back to my hotel on Lake Lucille.  I took a short walk around the lake to get loose from the long car ride.  Hopped over to my favourite sub shop and had dinner.  That sub shop is the ONLY decent place to eat in this town, sad to say.

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Windy at Lake Lucille
I got up super early and had my yogurt and half a Quest bar before I headed over to set up for the race.  I was bib #2, so I had a first wave spot and a primo rack spot.  This is one of those small races where you have to bring your own bike stand. Lucikly no rain. It was super overcast and 46 degrees.  I was pretty lucky. After I finished the wind really picked up and it started to lightly rain. So glad I did not have to bike in the rain.

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Bring Your Own Bike Stand
Swim was one of my worst. The pool was so hot, it was like swimming in a bathtub.  I am used to swimming in the UAF pool which is one of the coldest in the state.  The hot water really slowed me down.  I also was off on my strokes and kept coming up half a stroke short of the wall, so I had reach and it really messed with my turns and push offs.

 

I head out of the pool and meander to my bike. I felt that my transition was slow, but because it was so cold I took the time to put on my socks with my bike shoes as well as an ear band under my helmet.  My bike was pretty darn good.  I had no idea at the time because I was not timing or using my garmin for this race. I forgot to turn it on as usual.  I motored on through the hilly bike course, with an average of over 17mph, which for  me on a hilly course is pretty darn smoking!  I did unfortunately bike an extra mile.  The course volunteer got confused between the bike and the run legs and sent the first handful of bikers onto the run course at an intersection.  Bikers should not have turned but she kept yelling at me I listened to her.  I have done this race many times before and knew the course, but because of her yelling I thought they must have had a last-minute course change for some unforeseen reason.  Well I should have listened to my instincts.  Even so I still had an amazing bike.

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This was uphill, but smile for the camera!
Off came the helmet and on come the running shoes and my trusty Brooks running cap.  Dang it, I forget to take my gloves off. So I stripped them off and dropped them at the aide station that was right after the run-out spot.  Which I proceeded to forget to pick backup after the race. Guess I need to buy a new pair now 🙂  The run was uneventful.  I did walk for about 1 minute out of transition so that I could get my hat secured and my race belt on.  The run course mimics much of the bike course but just a much smaller rectangle. So the first 1.5 miles of the course is up the big hill and the next 1/4 is downhill and the last 1/4 is mixed. I was able to keep the turnover good going up the hill, which was my big goal for this race.  I am pretty pleased about my run. I only got passed by one female runner, who was hauling tail coming up the hill 🙂  It was during the run that I was super happy that it was overcast and cool. I did not have to worry about over heating.

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Hey Look…..Another Camera….Smile Pretty!
As I cruised into the finish line I was fairly confident that I had made a Personal Record on this course.  Finishing time 1:22 Officially 8 minutes PR, but if I deduct the extra biking in it was more like a 12 minute PR.  Which is AWESOME!  This is my 3rd triathlon so far this summer/spring and each race has been a course PR.  My targeted training over the winter has really made a difference in my early season races. I am also pretty sure the 10 pounds I have dropped have made a difference as well, especially on the run part.  I also find my runs increase or decrease the most when my weight fluctuates up or down.

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Finishers medals were awesome this year 🙂
I really enjoy this race and I hope to race again next year.  I have another sprint coming up in June. That race is a brand new one for me, so I have nothing to compare that course to.  This looks like it is shaping up to be a great season for me 🙂

Spring Break!!!!

As my friend T. would say, Sweet Baby Cthulhu, its Spring Break Week. Heading into the tail end of the week we got a day off, WOOT.  So not only as a student did I get a break from class but as a Uni employee I got Friday off!  So instead of sleeping in and drinking my weight in coffee, I hauled my tail to my office anyway. Time to catch up on all of the homework that I have been avoiding for weeks.  Deadlines ticking in the background, I had to put my nose down and actually do the work.

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relax….it will be okay

Whew, this class is harder than I thought it would be.  Advanced International Macro Economics.  I have a great professor thankfully who is super organized and expectations and due dates are clearly outlined.  If not for this and the fact she is in tune with the progress of the class I am not sure I would be able to make it through. I spent all day reviewing the lectures, which I took weeks ago, and finished my questions.  Whew. I do think that I understand it better now.

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WOOT, I am done baby!

To celebrate my completion of the long over due homework I took a stroll around campus.  It warmed up nicely from the -17 in the am to a brisk 24 (above) by 3 pm.  I so love the view from the West Ridge of Campus.  I totally love our campus. Its small but amazing in a lot of ways. When the sky is clear you can see the Alaska Range behind me and there are amazing ski trails right behind my office. What more could you want. As I walk around our campus I can only think about our future.

As a student and employee of the University of Alaska I feel very protective of our institution, from Juneau-Anchorage-Fairbanks-Rural sites.  Right now we are at a crucial time.  The State of Alaska is cutting our funding putting world class education at jeopardy. World class instruction and training are more important than ever in our geographically isolated state.  Not to mention the impact it has on jobs, the community, and beyond.  It is time to speak up to our representative and let them know how important our University system is to the state, not just in our 3 main locations but all of the rural sites that we serve!  We all want to do our part to balance to State budget, but we can’t destroy the systems that we have.  Alaska is isolated enough as it is, cutting off our main avenue of Higher Education and Occupational training is crazy. As the oil field go idle with this low oil prices, occupational re-training is going to be essential to the continued economic growth of our beautiful state. (These are my opinions, not the University of Alaska)

I urge you to visit The Alaska State Legislature to find your local representative or make a general testimony and voice your opinion on the value of the University of Alaska and higher education and training.