Sunday, November 15, 2009

Home from FL; Philly in a week!

Great weekend down in Florida for Beth's participation of the Foster Grant Ironman 70.3 World Championships. She finished 4th in her age group and all that hard work this year sure paid off with the look on her face after the race. We got home this afternoon and I can't believe Philly's a week away. I guess it's my turn to PR and turn in a good performance (I hope!).

As far as achieving my goals....this past week I had a 3x1600 workout at 5k pace with 2 min rest. It was a good confidence boost heading into the marathon. I was worried because I felt like I hadn't really done anything hard since the half marathon and, with the HS XC season ending, whether or not I was still on top of my crispness of training. Well, after 5:33, 5:27, and 5:28 1600's in the workout, I was feeling confident again about hitting 6:30's for the marathon. We shall see what happens. Long range forecast is calling for low in the 40's and high in the 50's with a chance of rain. We'll see how that develops throughout the week.

Where to start with the weekend? It was just such a nice atmosphere and I got to see some of Beth's triathlon friends (and I guess my friends, too!) like Jen H, Chad & Jen, Kim, Cathy & Kerry, Eric, Elizabeth, and I'm sure a few others I'm forgetting off the top of my head.

Here's a few photos from the weekend.

First, the view of the sunrise on race morning in the harbor. They changed the race start from the gulf to this harbor because of big waves and strong current. I guess they didn't want a repeat of the crazy swim routes people were taking back in Alabama (see picture about halfway down the blog entry).

I put pictures on FB also, so skipping ahead to the Awards Ceremony, it was like they were setting up for a concert.
When Beth's AG went up, she got her name in lights!

But, perhaps the most exciting part of the trip for me (OTHER than the fact that Beth got 4th PLACE in her AG in the WORLD!!) was the flight home. I've been reading this book called 'A Short History of World War II' by James Stokesbury. I've had it for my past four or five flights and I'm still only halfway done. I'd hate to see how much the LONG history book would weigh. I enjoy it because it gets into a lot of the strategy of the different sides during the war (like Hitler's choice to try to invade Russia, France's feeble attempts to hold off Germany, the dialogue between the US & Britian on strategy, ...) and has lots of maps to go along with the flow of the war.

If it hasn't been stated before in this blog, I LOVE maps. I'm not really sure when it started. Perhaps just as a result of my enjoyment of following sports growing up and trying to figure out where the different teams were located? I'm definitely the map person when we're planning our trips. In fact, Beth's mom commented to me on this past trip that I would make a good taxi driver because I'm so good with directions (I think it was a compliment and not a suggestion to change careers?).

Anyway, I digress....So, on the way home today, I'm reading the book and I pause for a second to look out the window and see some major highways below (it was a perfectly clear day for most of the flight). Since I had printed out a flight path projection from past flights from (I know, BIG TIME map nerd), I consulted the map and was pretty sure we were at the split of I-77 and I-74 in North Carolina. I know this route well because of our many trips down to HHI and Durham for holidays. So, this catches my attention and I begin following the road. Looks like it goes up a mountain just like I know from the drive as I-77 heads towards Fancy Gap.

Next thing you know, we're at where I'm pretty sure is the I-77 and I-81 connection in Southeastern Virginia, close to Virginia Tech (where Beth and I spent some graduate school time). Next thing you know, I see Lane Stadium out the window. I yell, "Beth! Beth! Check it out--it's Virginia Tech!" Since I think she was sleeping on my shoulder at the time, I don't know how impressed she was, but I had to take a photo with my camera.

The first picture below is a rotated shot from google maps with our old apartment, Lane Stadium, and the Drillfield highlighted that I made when I got home (I know, map nerd).

The second photo is the one from the plane with those three locales circled again.

The view was even better just looking out the window. The picture from the cameraphone doesn't do it justice. Pretty cool and exciting for a person who loves maps.....not so much for everybody else, I suppose. Thanks for humoring me and my fascination with maps.

Finally, Beth and I had an extra piece of luggage on the trip home.....a second bike case.

Why did we have a second bike case you ask? It sure isn't because I competed this weekend (unless you qualify for a World Championship for having the SLOWEST swim and bike time). This is actually Kim's bike that we brought home. Did Kim forget it? Of course not. Unfortunately, what happened was she had a duel with a cone on the bike course during the race. The cone won and Kim ended up with a broken collarbone. Bummer!

So, we brought it home so a gal with an arm in a sling had one less thing to try to haul around the airports. As I know Beth can attest to, it's tough enough to lug around a suitcase, bike case, and computer bag through the airport with TWO good arms. Plus, this was a good experiment for Beth and I to see if our car could handle two bike cases if the day ever came where I would be flying (thus bringing a bike) to compete in a triathlon. Mission accomplished on that end and maybe slowing down our urge to look further into the Saturn Outlook--the rental we were loved driving all around Clearwater.

Heal up quick, Kim!


Beth said...

You have taken "map nerd" to a whole new level!!! AHHH!!! When I looked at the window (when you were squawking about VT) all I saw was a bunch of brown mountains. :)

Wendy said...

Ha Ha! I love that you are a map junkie! I, on the other hand, can't be bothered with maps. Which explains why I'm often lost. GOOD LUCK in PHILLY! You'll do AWESOME! I'll be praying for you.

Jennifer Harrison said...

O! you are so good cheering for us all the time - SO GOOD LUCK IN PHILLY! Have the BEST race ever out there!!!! Great seeing you again this past weekend!

BriGaal said...

Good luck this weekend!

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