Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Break 2014

To say that returning to work today was a challenge would be an understatement, but I can't imagine that any more time off would be good for me!  Not that I would complain about days filled with naps (I think that I took one every single day of my break - bliss!), but then they would be commonplace, and why should that happen?!

I spent most of my time hunkered down at home, but between training, catching up on grading, and napping, the week passed by pretty quickly.  Gus and I bonded over stretching and strength training.
He also took lots of naps with me!

Michael spent part of the week in Boulder, CO, visiting family, but before he left town, I met up with some colleagues for a quick drink and then we finally made it to LACMA to see the James Turrell exhibit, catching the tail end of it.  I had been skeptical and not super enthused about seeing this exhibit, which was totally idiotic of me because it was one of the coolest exhibits I've seen in the longest time.  James Turrell - what a genius!  And not just because he has won a McArthur genius grant.  The way he looks at the world - whoa!  Totally blew my mind.  

On Thursday, I headed down to San Diego, where I picked up Michael, and we enjoyed a few days down south.  We drank great beer, randomly stumbling on Station Tavern in San Diego which was awesome, and then we mainly hung around Carlsbad/Encinitas/Oceanside, returning to familiar haunts from our last time there, back in January - El Callej√≥n (great margaritas but not as much fun as the first time we went), Pannikin which I just learned is an "institution" in the area and has some of the best muffins I've ever had, and Union Kitchen and Tap.  

I also took our bikes down, so on Friday, after a walk on the beach with Gus and a great breakfast at the aforementioned Pannikin, Michael and I set out on what I promised would be a 3 hour ride MAX. 
Rough times at the beach!  The typical dog photo, I know!

I had discovered one of the "best rides of San Diego County" on line - from Carlsbad to Camp Pendleton up the coast.  Well, it ended up being much longer, mainly because we got turned around a few times (mainly at Camp Pendleton) and did not make the right turn that would have taken us to the coast.  Plus, we hit major traffic several times AND I had a flat!  I kept thinking of Gilligan's Island - "a three-hour tour...".  Despite all of those mishaps, it was a fun day, but that ride pretty much WAS the day!

Finally, I woke up early Saturday morning and headed to Oceanside, T1 - to help out at Oceanside 70.3.  Despite the crazy early hour, it was a fun morning and the time passed quickly.  We were checking people who were going into the transition area for the first hour or so, then, once the race started, we were helping people at the bike mount line.  I've never actually seen all of the leaders get on the bike, so that was fun - or would have been had I been able to recognize anyone!  Also, that mount line was crazy busy!  I don't think that I've ever been at a race that had so much traffic at the mount line.  Or maybe I have but I don't notice it racing?  Our major job at the mount line was to check for bibs - if people did not have a bib, they could not ride on Camp Pendleton, which meant that they couldn't finish the race.  So, we gave people bibs if they were leaving without one.  Here I am in "action" (I think I gave Thom, in front of me, the bib who then stuck it in a racer's kit):

In addition to the bike mounting issues, there was some crazy stuff I saw that morning - first of all, a guy who had not picked up his packet the day before strolled up wanting to know where to get his packet.  Ummm - did you not read any of the information that Ironman.com sent you?  And spectators who were trying to sneak into transition?  

We finished up around 9:00 and by the time the last person had mounted his/her bike and I walked to T2, the lead male racers were starting the run.  I did not spectate all of the run, but I did get to see the first couple of guys.  They were so fast (I know, stating the obvious, but seriously!).  

After that, it was time to return home.  The weekend ended on a more low-key note as I prepped for the week and fit in a long run and ride!  It was definitely a great break, and while I ended it feeling physically tired from training, it also let me recharge.  Good thing as we have the final push over these next 8 weeks!

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