Thursday, July 10, 2014

Two Weekends In Atlanta

Grab a cup of coffee and get comfortable, because I have a three week absence to catch you up on.   The first week was the usual trauma drama - early mornings, late nights, and generally miserable.  To mark the conclusion of trauma as well as to race the Allatoona Triathlon, I made a trip back to Atlanta for the weekend.  After a frustrating drive and abundant traffic, it took me no more than 10 minutes to go from pulling in the driveway to being passed out in bed.

Saturday Lunch - homemade pizza, thai noodle salad, cucumber salad, and a juicy peach
Saturday I woke up feeling rested and ready to soak up a couple days at home.  The morning started with a trip to the farmers market, run with Dad, and a short bike ride with my new aero wheels.  Dad and Mom recently finished creating my favorite new part of the house - the underdeck.  Even on a hot summer day, you can relax in an adirondack chair and feel as though it is spring or early fall.  Bailey and I spent the entire rest of the day lounging and napping in our favorite spot.

Dinner was an excellent grilling meal that consisted of marinated tofu steaks, sweet potato wedges, and farmer's market zucchini and squash.  There are few better meals than a grilled summer plate finished with cold and sweet watermelon.

After dinner I put the final touches on my bike in preparation for the Allatoona Triathlon the following morning.  I was anxious to put the new wheels and helmet to the test.  Check out my race report for all of the race details.

In just a blink of an eye it was Sunday afternoon, and after a family morning at the race and lunch at Pure Cantina, I was back on the road to Charlotte for a short holiday week.  One night I stopped by Earth Fare for a salad bar dinner and paired it with toast and a homemade basil pesto from my garden.

The day before Independence Day, I was back in the car for what turned into a dreadful drive home, complete with a nearly 5.5 hour commute that forced me to miss my scheduled dentist appointment.  Friday the whole family ran the Peachtree Road Race (check out my race report!) and had tons of fun kicking off the 4th of July with our annual tradition.

Later that afternoon, we had a family cookout to celebrate the 4th.  It was a meal prepared by the whole family, including BBQ pork, kale and carrot salad, potato salad, peaches and mixed greens, and herb rolls.  Dessert was blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream.  Our stomachs were very happy!

Bailey soaked up plenty of attention over the course of the weekend, including some active time with a Sunday morning run, as well as moments of pure laziness.  She also served as a source of laughter in her Benadryl-induced state to subdue her terror of fireworks.

Corn hole was our evening entertainment prior to darkness.  Even Grandpa and Grandma got in on the action.  Ultimately, Royce and Erin proved victors.

Family pictures commenced as the sun began to set.  The weather was absolute perfection and we commented multiple times over the course of the weekend that you couldn't have asked for more comfortable temperatures and low humidity in July.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early for a long bike ride.  It didn't exactly turn out as planned when I arrived to find a group that was very obviously planning a much more aggressive ride than I had in mind.   I still managed to get in the miles, but it was far hillier and with much greater variability in power than I anticipated.  I was supposed to run 4 miles off the bike, but was really sore after racing the day before and opted to skip that.

Sunday morning brought a long awaited and highly anticipated "sleep-in" morning.  I can't even begin to remember the last day that I wasn't awake at 3am for a pre-trauma workout, 4:30am to swim, or 6am to squeeze in a weekend workout prior to the scorching heat.  I slept until 8am and it was glorious!  To make the morning even better, I enjoyed a cup of tea while lounging on the couch and was then presented with an incredible breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls (amazing!!), scrambled eggs, and fruit.  Eventually I did make it out the door for my 12 mile run, but the laziness was much appreciated.

Ultimately the wonderful 4th of July weekend came to an end and I was back on I-85 headed toward Charlotte.  The drive is painful and nothing I look forward to, but escaping to Atlanta and spending wonderful time with family will always be worth it.  Hopefully in just two short years I'll be living back in Atlanta and the drives will be only a memory.

As of today, there are only 79 days until Ironman Chattanooga.  Suddenly it's getting very real!  I can only imagine how much my anticipation will continue to grow over the upcoming weeks.  Here the training update -

Week 23 - A good week with some good quality training
Swim: 12500 yards
Bike: 8 hrs, 10 minutes (including a 74 mile long ride with 3400 ft elevation gain)
Run: 18.5 miles
Total: 14 hrs, 30 minutes

Week 24 - Work was a nightmare and training suffered.  Allatoona Triathlon on Sunday.
Swim: 3500 yards
Bike: 4 hours, 25 minutes
Run: 14.1 miles
Total: 7 hours, 30 minutes

Week 25 - Gradual return to regular training now that I'm off the trauma service.
Swim: 6400 yards (only 2 swims due to the holiday weekend)
Bike: 6 hours (including a tough 52 mile ride with 3700 ft elevation gain on trashed legs post-Peachtree)
Run:  29.2 miles (including the Peachtree Road Race and a "mental toughness" 12 mile run)
Total: 12 hours, 10 minutes

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