Friday, November 29, 2013

A new year...a new team

About a month ago, I started filling out applications for sponsorships and teams. It can feel tedious and make you question how legitimate you really are. I found myself answering questions directly related to triathlon (i.e. How will you, as well as (insert company here) benefit from this sponsorship?). Other questions, however, make you wonder exactly how your answer will make you more appealing than someone else vying for the same position. For instance, does the super hero I resemble really matter when it comes to how well I'll use my nutritional product?

I'm beginning to think questions pertaining to super heroes, wrestling ring names, and theme music really have nothing to do with my qualification, but more to do with keeping the evaluation team awake. If that's truly the case, I'll divulge my wrestling ring name (I used a random name generator because, let's face it, I'm just not that creative).

Meet Portly Angel.

Ok. So, that didn't exactly float my boat (seeing as though I keep training 10-12 hours a week to resemble anything other than something "portly.") Thankfully, one of my applications hit a note with the evaluators, and I can call myself something far better, far more tasteful instead. I'm not sure what drew their attention to my application. My race results? Volunteer experiences? Pictures?

This 2014, I'll be racing with a team organized by Chris McDonald, the Australian professional best known for his 6 Ironman wins, two of which happened this past summer in a span of just 4 weeks. I'm still working at growing into the name that represents this team. Big Sexy Racing is comprised of two adjectives that have never found themselves in a sentence with my name in it. In the last few weeks, however, those same two adjectives have held me more accountable to my training than my race schedule ever has. Yet when I start reading the race plans of all my teammates, I'll be damned if I'm not trying to add another event somewhere in my race lineup.

I can't wait until we start posting race results. I'm convinced I probably fall in the lower third of this group as far as race performance is concerned. Time will tell, and I hope that with the help of Derek Garcia of Garcia Multisports, I can surmount that dang hill that's kept me from consistently placing on the podium. This year will be different. 

Meet the new Big Sexy. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

The mountain bike...and my pup

During the ride, she never stops (unless mom makes her
pose for a picture). 
The seed was planted last year around this time, and it took me this long to buy myself a mountain bike. While not brand new and not top of the line, it has served as my alternative to indoor trainer rides so far this fall and hopefully into the coming winter. Maci might be the most excited about this proposal. Usually, I haven't even mounted my bike before her whimpers of excitement escalate into barks of impatience. Before long, she's sprinted down the driveway, knowing I'll have no trouble catching her.

To fly as fast as my energetic vizsla. That has most definitely been the highlight so far. I've not yet found my gut to feel fully confident navigating steep downhills, especially when the trail is riddled with rocks and roots. Call me a pansy, but the visions of risking injury keep me well within myself. If I'm not afraid of tipping over sideways and sliding down the embankment, I'm certain I'll accidentally hit my front brake and find myself cartwheeling down it instead. (Thank you, but no thank you.)

After the ride, she'd like Bryan to start the heater ASAP and
mom to wrap her up in a blanket.
Uphills present a different story. I remember scaling my first significant one last week. Even in a low gear, my legs felt worse than they do when I'm climbing hills on my Quintana Roo. I looked down at my heart rate monitor to reassure myself I was, indeed, in my zone 4. For me, this has been the weirdest sensation to overcome: going not more than the pace at which I run, but feeling as though I should be flying based on the work I'm putting forth.

Maci couldn't care less. On trails that allow for her to run alongside me, she will. Other times, she'll catch a glimpse of something off in the woods and sprint a short detour before catching back up to ride my hind wheel until a hill slows me down so she can pass. I think she feels the greatest sense of superiority when she runs just ahead of me, keeping me at her own pace. If Bryan joins us, she keeps pace with him up ahead, but is sure to check back with me who inevitably brings up the rear.

And so, we continue to experiment with the mountain bike. I hope the snow holds off for a few more weeks, but if it doesn't, the studded tires wait down in the basement to make their grand appearance. The shorter days have made riding after work a bit of a challenge, but the brightest of bright lights will soon arrive in the mail. Based on the reviews, it sounds as though I'll more closely resemble a glowing orb from outer space than a cyclist on her way home. Once home, I've found incredibly good meals waiting in the crockpot. Nothing like homemade soup after a chilly ride through the woods!

Once home, she can't wait to head out for a ride all
over again.
To have the energy of a vizsla.