Monday, September 28, 2015

Augusta Georgia - Getting out of the Desert

One of the favorite things I get to do as part of my job is to travel to places and check out their attractions, restaurants, and hotels.

Last week I visited Augusta Georgia. 

My boss is a former golf pro and I told him I would get him a Master’s souvenir. Ha. I couldn’t even get on the course much less a souvenir. Since I’m not a golfer I didn’t understand the exclusiveness of the Masters and how they fiercely protect their brand. I was only able to get him a golf towel with Augusta Georgia embroidered on it. 

He really wanted one of these. 
It’s okay.

I have some great souvenirs of the trip to share with my blog visitors: photos and memories.
Here they come.
But first I have to admit how awesome it was to be east of the Mississippi River. The temperature both days in Augusta was a pleasant 60 to 70 degrees; there were clouds and a bit of rain – heaven!

First let's talk art:  
This first piece of art reminded me of visiting the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, a park outside of the city. It was like being in a different world. I love the southern landscape
Morris Museum of Art 

Morris Museum of Art

Public Art in Augusta

 Outdoor Fun: 
The Augusta Canal and Dam - outdoor recreation abounds: kayaking, running, biking.

Boat tour of the canal. They have a weekend tour in the early evening with music and drink. We missed that :-( 
The Swamp - Phinizy Swamp Nature Park
Augusta Restaurants: 

Yum Mexican. Can't compete with Tucson Mexican but delicious still. 
I'm not sure why I didn't take more pictures of food and restaurants. It was primarily due to the company. They were so interesting and I wanted to know everything about them. It's so fun to learn about people and to know people who live in these amazing places. I was more interested in talking to them then taking pictures of our food. I will say that I had two amazing dinners. One night at Frog Hollow, with an all regionally produced menu. I had the pork chops. Thick-tender - pretty amazing. And great wine. Always, must have great wine.

The Dam - Savannah River
Why do I always forget to take video? Next time.
Speaking of next time, the weekend following my visit was the Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Athletes were arriving as I was leaving. When I knew I was coming here, I tried to register for the race and extend my trip but the triathlon is so popular it was SOLD OUT. Based on my visit, seeing the city, checking out hotels and the river - the Savannah River - this is a great race destination. I might just be coming back for it next year.

P.S. I walked past James Brown's daughter at the Augusta Museum of History where she teaches music. She smiled at me. The James Brown exhibit was so interesting. He was so driven. I'm listening to his music now.

Training Plans & 50 Milers

Monday’s are so hopeful – a new start, new plans – anything is possible on a Monday.

Today, I started my 50 mile training plan for a March 2016 race. Last week I didn’t run at all – nothing. Traveling for work and fighting a cold kept me from any workout. But it’s okay, I’m fresh and ready to attack this plan. Plus, I’m going to blog more about training (Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to UltraRunning) and nutrition (Hammer based).  

This blog will keep me accountable for hitting training goals.

Plus, I’m moving the Training Widget up in the layout so I can see if I’m finishing the miles I am scheduled to do according to this plan:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
9/28/2015 0 4 6 4 0 12 5 31
10/5/2015 0 4 6 4 0 14 4 32
10/12/2015 0 4 6 4 0 16 6 36
10/19/2015 0 4 6 4 0 18 6 38
10/26/2015 0 4 4 4 0 8 4 24
11/2/2015 0 4 6 4 0 20 8 42
11/9/2015 0 4 6 6 0 20 10 46
11/16/2015 0 4 4 4 0 10 6 28
11/23/2015 0 4 6 6 0 22 10 48
11/30/2015 0 4 8 6 0 22 10 50
12/7/2015 0 4 4 6 0 10 6 30
12/14/2015 0 4 8 6 0 24 10 52
12/21/2015 0 4 8 6 0 24 10 52
12/28/2015 0 4 6 6 0 10 8 34
1/4/2016 0 4 6 6 0 10 8 34
1/11/2016 0 4 10 6 0 3 26 49
1/18/2016 0 4 10 6 0 26 10 56
1/25/2016 0 4 8 6 0 10 8 36
2/1/2016 0 4 12 6 0 28 12 62
2/8/2016 0 4 12 6 0 29 12 63
2/15/2016 0 4 8 6 0 30 10 58
2/22/2016 0 4 5 6 0 10 3 28
2/29/2016 4 3 2 5 0 10 4 28
3/7/2016 4 3 2 0 0 50 -- 59

2016 Races:
1/15/2016 - Houston Marathon

Possibly 3/12/16 Mesquite 50M

A - Races 2016:
70.3 St George

Monday, September 7, 2015

Discover the Grand Canyon & Not Racing

The Grandest Canyon of All August 2015
In August I slipped in and out of training mode. Someday I felt great and woke up to swim, bike and run. Other days, I wasn’t feeling it and went to work early. I had the Mountain Man Long Course to look forward to and a trip north to Flagstaff; but wasn't motivated to train hard. I'm not sure why.

Racing and Not Racing
My original plan was to drive up to Flagstaff on Friday, go to the Grand Canyon on Saturday and race the Mountain Man triathlon at Lake Mary on Sunday. After the race drive back to Tucson.
The Monday before the race I called to cancel the hotel and the kennel for the dogs. Tuesday I was changing my mind again. I didn’t run much last week and my longest bike ride completed in a week was 25 miles. I wasn’t ready. I could change to the Olympic distance, I thought.

By Wednesday I knew that it was a good decision not to race but what about the Grand Canyon. I haven’t seen it yet. I knew I wanted to. Always in the back of my mind I think I might not every get the opportunity ever again in this life to do X.
X = see the Grand Canyon, run the Grand Canyon, see the Sierras, hike in the Sierras, go to Spain, go to Italy. I couldn't miss a chance.

Things I Want To Do List
I always tend to do the things that I dream about doing although I do have a terrible track record with canceling, rescheduling, and postponing.
On Friday I was glad I canceled the plans. Rushing from work, dropping off the dogs and driving 5 hours was too much after a busy work week. I just wanted to have a relaxing weekend. 

I woke up Saturday and knew I needed to go to Flagstaff. I needed to race; there was still time. I checked and found a cheap-ish hotels (Flagstaff is popular, and expensive in the summer due to the Grand Canyon). The kennel would take the dogs and I could leave at 4pm.

It was one of the hottest weekend. Heat warnings were all over Arizona.
I drove through Phoenix at the hottest time of day. 

When I got to Flagstaff I checked into my hotel and walked down the street to Cracker Barrel. I ordered a salad to go and at 9pm in my hotel I decided that if I woke up and wanted to race, I’d race. If not, I’d drive to the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon
At 5:45 am I decided to drive the Grand Canyon. There were no cars on the road, no line at the entrance. I drove in and got oriented. The temps were perfect to start: 
I asked questions to rangers, wandered around the South Rim, and watched the movie about the park.

The crowds arrived and it got hotter by the minute.
I headed out of the park around noon knowing that I will be back.

I will hike Bright Angel. I will run Rim to Rim.Now, when I read about the Grand Canyon I can picture it in my mind. The Grand Canyon is one of the western places I want to go back to over and over. 

There is so much to learn and see.

See you Grandest Canyon - I will see you again, soon, very soon.