Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Crash Pad

As you know I've been driving all over for lacrosse and this week is no different. Well, it's different in that I'm in Tennessee for 3 days. At first because I'm still working the day job, I thought I was going up and back on Tuesday, and then I found out I could work remotely.

Checking the best way to get from School A to School B put me back through Chattanooga. Having heard great things about the Crash Pad and the price being right ($30/night), I decided to check it out.

Straight from their webpage, this is what I had to look forward to:
Our mission is to further establish Chattanooga as an ultimate outdoor destination by providing a base camp and community hub for adventurous travelers. This has led us to our dream of opening an uncommon hostel in the heart of downtown, combining the affordability and camaraderie of a traditional hostel with the charm and cleanliness of a boutique hotel.
While The Crash Pad welcomes all travelers, we’ve taken special care to maximize the experience of those who come to play in the mountains and rivers that surround our city. Detailed information will be readily available for the wealth of climbing, biking, running, kayaking and all other sports accessible by a short drive from the hostel. We look forward to helping you plan your adventure.
New construction ensures the highest standards of craftsmanship and energy efficiency. As outdoor adventurers, we pursued construction and operation techniques built on reclaimed and renewable resources in order to minimize our impact on the environment. For more information on our commitment to sustainable business, please visit our Certifications page.

I'm not hiking. I'm not climbing, I do think I'm low fuss. I needed wi-fi to work and a bed to sleep in. They promised both. I called Tuesday morning (I saw from the website there were plenty of beds open that night) and reserved my bed and warned them I might be late. I was assured it wasn't an issue. I managed to get here during normal operating hours. I got checked in and given a tour since it was my first visit.

The tour:
The kitchen: Breakfast stuffs are provided, spices, cookware, label your food. Clean up. That simple.
Then down the hall is a laundry facility. You pay for it, but they'll just put it on your tab when you check out.
I said no thanks and skipped the details but I could see if you were coming for a week or so and backpacking, etc. This would be very handy.

We headed up the steps because I was told at check in I could have my own area, but it would be upstairs. Perks of being here at a low traffic time I guess.
VERY clean bathroom, hand towels, hand soap.
Shower had the same level of cleanliness
And then the bunk I signed up for:
In each bunk area were 4 outlets, a personal light, a fan and curtains to close off. Underneath the beds were locked storage areas. Clean sheets, towel, and blanket greeted me as well. Sweet on the towel, I thought I had to bring my own so I stopped at Wal-Mart and grabbed one. Oh well.

The staff that greeted me was super pleasant and offer to get the fire pit started if I wanted.

But I was hungry and I didn't even bother to settle in before I headed over to the Flying Squirrel for dinner. Turns out I got 20% off my food for being a Crash Pad guest and other discounts around town as well.

I slept okay but had a weird dream about my ex-boyfriend. It made no sense. But that's not really part of the story here. I got up and ran to the other side of the river and back. Chattanooga starts moving early, lots of cars and traffic lights to deal with.

Time to work. I had spoken to the guys the night before and they said there was no issue with me hanging out, using the wi-fi and working today until I needed to go to my game. As a matter of fact, the staff was headed out to a meeting and they first checked to see if I needed anything and then gave me back a key (check out is 11am) so that I could move about the building and get back in if I went out.
Today's work space
A place to hang out in the 'reception' area
I headed out to lunch with a friend to The Terminal Brewhouse. Since I'm working remotely, I just took my laptop with me and we sat out side and enjoyed a great meal. Upon my return, I resettled into my office. My only slight disappointment was the music playing. Not my style, but I figured if I'm prolonging my visit and they are being very gracias about it, I'll just keep plugging away.

There are larger rooms if you are traveling with others beyond just the bunks. If you are coming up to hike, climb or more likely training for Chat 70.3 or Chat 14x.6 this could be a great place to stay. I would stay here again without hesitation.

These guys and others in their fancy sweat-xedos will be here to greet you.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Random Thoughts and the Publix Half Marathon....

Stick with me, this might be a long one..

The end of January I attempted to give notice at my day job as I planned on officiating lacrosse full time while trying to figure out my next step as a grown up. However, my employer convinced me to stay on. So right now I'm working for him as much as I can while also honoring the full time collegiate lacrosse schedule I've been given. Oh, and continue training for my up coming races. Life is currently a blur and half the time I don't know what state I'm in. All this movement and lack of time to sit still and think is stressing me a bit and it's impacting many things.


One of the biggest issues is food. While you can eat ok on the road. It's really hard to eat well and smart while driving. Unfortunately many trips are solo and it is tough to eat a big salad while driving. My weight it still up and I have banished my scale to under my bed. I just can't focus on that right now. I'm doing the best I can, and soon college season will be over and things will settle down. The bigger frustration isn't the damn scale, it's my damn clothing.

I had a chance to chat with coach and we figured out my race schedule. Unfortunately there isn't an Olympic Distance local enough in the time frame I have to work with. Oh well, it doesn't seem to bother him.

Here's my schedule if you'd like to join me! After all, it isn't stalking if I invite you! (too soon?)
For the past three years I have run the Georgia Publix Half Marathon. This year I was registered, but forgot I had committed to a lacrosse tournament and wasn't trained, so I didn't run it. Plus, to be honest, I don't like the race. It's not my favorite course and it is smack dab in the middle of lacrosse season. My legs and body are tired, NOT race ready. So instead, Christine and I cheered.

And cheer we did! We got blisters on our fingers from so much cowbell.

Thank you Stacy for being awesome and lending out your wigs.
We were working cheering the corner of Virginia and Highlands, which was about mile 7.5 for the half marathon. We were helping represent for The Kyle Pease Foundation. They had A LOT of athletes participating, even in the rain. The least we could do was provide encouragement.

It was a great corner and unfortunately/fortunately because of the weather is wasn't that crowded of a spot. We were able to spot many runners we knew and I loved getting to run 50-100 yards with them to check in and wish them well as they entered the last third of the race.

As the runners started to dwindle, Christine and I started making our way up to see if we could find the sweepers. As we walked up we found this sign:
Fitting for both of us!
Then we found a water stop. Cheering is hard work so I grabbed a drink.

Christine and I both jumped in and passed out drinks to those who were still making their way.

See that guy? He's not a volunteer. Whoever was supposed to volunteer to man this water station/aide station DIDN'T SHOW UP!!! Not one person from whatever group said they would be there showed up. At mile 7.5 on the half. SERIOUSLY!?!? Are you kidding me?

These guys were Lifetime Race staff. With no volunteers they stayed and the crew kept up with the water and PowerAde to the VERY LAST RUNNER! Water and PowerAde for all. Christine and I apologized to the guys for not knowing. Had we known, we would have cheered and passed out water at the same time. I just can't believe an entire group thought it was okay to just not show up.

Meanwhile, she and I stayed until we saw the sweepers. We got to see the first and last runner!

We passed out the last bits of water. Cheered them on and helped the guys break down the aide station. Then we headed to the Original Pancake House for breakfast. We took off our wigs, but we did leave the tutus on! If only we had remembered to take a picture.

Cheering is exhausting and I faced a major dilemma when I got home....
Eventually I did get an hour spin completed after about 30 minutes on the couch. One day I will ride in the rain, today just wasn't that day. All I can say is some days, the struggle is real!

Hope everyone has a great week. I'll be spending most of it in Tennessee.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Irrational Fear???

This conversation just happened. And by just, I mean like 8 minutes ago.
Earlier today I spoke with my coach about races for this season. I assured him I didn't need or want to race a lot, but some are fun and break up the monotony of training. He agreed and suggested Lake Logan 70.3 (preview video) in August. The timing is right as well as it's a hilly bike course which will be good prep for IM Louisville, which is a HILLY bike course.

Have I shared I don't like climbing. I suck at climbing. Or maybe I don't. But IMFL was flat. Not pancake flat and maybe with the Florida Hills (aka head winds) I should have practiced climbing more, but I didn't. Ironically the two group rides I did had a bit of elevation. There was the GA 400 Hospitality Ride where I had to walk one of the hills. Big Sister is a bitch.
Metric Century
My first 100 miler was the MACC Century and while I didn't walk any of the hills, I may have shed a tear or two and definitely used up more time than they allocated.
First 100 mile ride

Is being intimidated by climbing really that irrational? I mean, if you slow down too much, you can tip over. When I first tried to climb a hill, I was in the wrong gear, tried to power through it, and broke the chain. Oh yea, and came crashing down. That was the year when a successful ride was one where I didn't spend time with the ground.

So I guess this is the year I learn how to climb. Curtis and crew at Cannon Cyclery are helping me get set up with a different cassette. I'm going to try and take off the weight (that's another topic all together) that I put on post IMFL and while training for Dopey. The new coach is going to going to give me the tools to succeed.

Need a pep talk? Let me know. I can totally psych you up for ANYTHING....however I have a hard time silencing the voice in my head. Here's to another race season of trying to shut up those damn voices.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Another Trip Around the Sun

Friday was my birthday. Nothing monumental I just survived another year.

The festivities kicked off with getting to go out with my favorite iRONman, while he was in town for business. He came and watched me referee and then we grabbed a great dinner.

Friday, the actual day of my birthday I was able to take most of the day off and even managed to get a massage. I'd love to tell you it was at a spa with a white fluffy robe and sparkling water, but it was deep tissue and it feels best when it's over. Truth. Today she decided to try cupping on me.
This is from after the cups were removed. Out of modesty and not wanting to scar anyone's retinas, I won't post what my ass looks like.

Remember when I said I was done with online dating, but that I had dinner plans with a friend and we didn't know if it was a date or not? It was a date. We had a good time. We continued to hang out to see where things might lead. And things were going well until Friday when on my birthday, he told me he was really busy and we should just be friends. This coming after he wished me a happy birthday. Just like last year....yes, JUST LIKE LAST YEAR, I got the friend speech, or I don't want to date you speech on (or the day before) my birthday. Surely this is a rare and special talent. After all before I turned 39 the guy I was dating disappeared (ghosted) about a week before my birthday. I'm sure it's me.

Friday night some girl friends were supposed to come over and hang out for a girls' night in. Fridays are tough and paved with good intentions. My phone started chirping about 5:30 with multiple varying reasons as to why someone wasn't coming. Most were very good reasons that I completely understand. Kids get sick, sitters cancel. It was unfortunate that so many had similar issues. The good news is the few who were able to make it got to enjoy some great food and good laughs.

Saturday started off GREAT! I met Adam (RH) at Kennesaw Mountain for some trails. We were able to merge his workout and mine to hopefully, make both coaches happy. Adam is this close to going for his first belt buckle (100 miles)! I'm so proud of his determination and perseverance. I know he's going to have a great race! After our run we went to Martin's for biscuits. If not for the stench of cigarette smoke, I might have met my next ex boyfriend while standing in line. Moving on...We had a great breakfast and then headed on our separate ways. I headed up to ref a lacrosse game and then home to meet up with some great friends for more birthday celebrations.
Much much fun Saturday continuing my birthday celebrations and celebrating Pratagonia's birthday as well.
Sunday was a beautiful day outside. Coach had given me an option of a trainer rider or 2-3 hours outside. Posted in the local tri group and got a handful of people to come ride the Silver Comet with me for some Zone 2 base miles. Lane (who needs a haircut) did my whole ride with me. He'd take off for an interval and eventually let me catch back up. It was so wonderful to be outside!
Lane didn't have running shoes with him so I was on my own for my short brick. However, he did hang out and wait for me to finish and we got to chat a little bit more hanging out on the back of his pick-up truck. I didn't even notice if the fountain was on yet, it wasn't that warm out today!
I can't believe I didn't get a picture of me and Stephanie! She and her husband took me out to a most wonderful dinner to cap off my weekend of celebrations. I'm still full a few hours later! Look at this cake!
Finally, the Ironwilled t-shirts and stickers are in so I'm trying to get them all packaged to be shipped.
I think I'm almost there and hopefully will be able to get about 75% of them mailed out tomorrow. We are currently working on a second order of shirts if you want one, let me know...A labor of love, but now...I need sleep.
Thank you all for the birthday wishes and especially those who went out of their way to spend some time with me this weekend. I swear I don't look older than I did when I was 40.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Anniversary Addition...

My blog just recently hit its one year anniversary so I guess that means I have another birthday coming, like tomorrow. I haven't written much lately because I'm not really sure what to share. I do believe some things really don't belong on the interwebs and a lot of those things have been going on.

I was out to dinner with a friend last night and I was stating, lamenting, whining, that it's been a year and everything seems the same. Yet, so much is different.

When I started this blog I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my sister's office waiting, just waiting, to be told I could move back home. And I did, the end of March.

I started this blog to share my journey to  becoming an Ironman. And I did, Nov 1, 2014.

I started this blog thinking only my mother and few select friends would read it. And I was right. JUST KIDDING. I'm constantly amazed when people I know or haven't met yet tell me they read it. I am completely HONORED when some one shares a post. I think this one summing up what my life is like training was shared the most: No, I don't want to come out and play...

Because of this blog my hoo-ha is a normal topic of conversation with ANYONE.
ended up picking up a different Cobb Saddle.
Through this blog I have made new amazing friends. Through this blog I connected with Janie and Ironwilled: Women who TRI was born. Through Ironwilled: Women who TRI I have met more amazing people.
And finally when I started this blog I was pretty much single....and we all know how that goes.
The reality is that while many things are the same as they were a year ago, I am not. I know the journey to Ironman and every other small (or big) journey I've taken this year has helped me get closed to where I think I want to be.

Thanks again for sharing last year's journey with me and for sticking around to see what this year brings.