Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week 12

Week 12: Mon- 1,000yd swim, 20 mile bike
Tue- 2,000yd swim, 5 mile run
Wed- 30 mile bike
Thu- 1250 yard swim, 4 mile run
Fri-20 mile bike
Sat- 9 mile run
Sun- 50 mile bike
Total: 140 miles
Total mileage so far: 1,391. Equal to driving from Austin, to the Boyson Reservoir on the Bighorn River (almost to Thermopolis!)

         Wow! What I wouldn't give to actually be nearing Thermopolis, WY right now so I could soak these tired legs in the hot springs. Even this vintage postcard makes it look refreshing!

Naturally heated spring water near the beautiful Big Horn river!

       Although I'm not there yet, this week DID get me to the Big Horn River, which, aside from finally reaching the Sunlight Basin, was by far my favorite part of the drive up there. You drive through rock tunnels, along ridges, and right beside a roaring river of emerald and blue mountain water. It was so pretty (and we were so tired!) that we pulled over on the side of the road and did a little exploring. Oreo, my Border Collie who was 6 at the time, was not thrilled about the rock climbing, but he was a fan of the water, so he got over it.

        Don't mind my schlumpy clothes- I'd been driving for 1,300 miles! This was the point which we felt we were finally getting to the "real" Wyoming, the place I had been dreaming about for the months after I got confirmation I had my job with the 7D. It was straight out of Lonesome Dove, and I crossed my fingers I'd find Gus, two legs or not.

       It looks like I'll be in Cody with several weeks left of training, but that's all right! I had a lot of adventures while I was there, and will use the extra miles to take people to Yellowstone, Windy Mountain, The Beartooth Mountains, and even Billings. The good news is, this week is the last week of distance work. Weeks 13-18 are marked as "Quality" weeks, meaning it's time to work on speed and features such as hills, rather than just going for a long ways. I am relieved by this, because I was getting pretty burned out. Now, I'll be able to mix up hill repeats and sprint workouts with distances and keep my legs, and my brain, fresh!

           In other good news, I've passed the halfway mark for fundraising! Yay! I am so excited to have raised over $500 dollars for the ALSA, and want to thank each and every person who has contributed (again!).

            Of course, with another milestone comes another GIVEAWAY! This time, it's from my friend Katie of Handana!  She has gifted me a $10 gift certificate to give away.

      These things are seriously the coolest running and activewear accessory I've ever had.  I saw them for the first time at the Zooma Women's Half Marathon at the Lost Pines Resort in Bastrop. I kept seeing ladies running with them on their hands and thought, huh, that's clever. Then, I saw Katie's booth at the expo and learned what it was and fell in love!

        A Handana is exactly what is sounds like- a bandana for your hands! We all know it's annoying to carry a towel when you run, much less when you bike, and sweatbands on your wrists and forehead can cause dorkiness and acne. Enter, this little diddy!

        Mine is in fuchsia and black, but they come in all colors and sizes. It's an absorbent hand wrap that you can use to wipe your face, keep your grip on handlebars, or just feel like a kickboxing rock star. I use mine for every run and bike I do in this crazy Texas summer heat, and it has always been up to task! The great thing is, when they get nasty (because the salt and bike grease does make is nasty) you just pop is in the washer with your laundry, and bam, it's ready to go again. I hate that gross feeling of the sweat pooling right under your eyes and along your nose, and this keeps me from getting icked out by my own face. Also, it's wonderful for bike riding because after a snot rocket (don't gag, all cyclists do it!) you can wipe your nose with the non-used-for-your-face-side and don't have to use your jersey sleeve or whatever. It fits nicely, without moving around, but not so tight it rubs, and the fabric is breathable Lycra, so your hand doesn't get too hot.

       They're made right here in the USA and are the brainchild of local Austin entrepreneur Katie Niemeyer! I'm a huge fan of not only the product, but also of Katie's positive attitude and resilience. Over two decades ago, Katie was in the hospital with what she found out was SJS- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. This is essentially an allergic reaction that causes the skin to blister and swell to the point of 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Unlike many not as lucky, Katie survived without being left blind and scarred. From her website:
As a SJS survivor, her eyes were very sensitive, and she found it difficult to focus on training for her first marathon while sweat was dripping into and burning her eyes. Hats, headbands and sweatbands helped, but in the Texas heat, sweat still dripped causing extreme pain and providing an excuse to stop her workouts. With the marathon a few months away, she needed a solution.
           And she created one! I truly am a big supporter of this product, and have gushed about it to more than one person. Handana has been featured on a couple of national talk shows, and is sold in 45 states and several countries!

           Handanas retail for $15.99, but if you participate in this giveaway, you would win a $10 gift certificate! Here are the rules:

2. Share the Cowboys Against ALS page on your profile and encourage your friends do to the same.
3. "Like" Handana's Facebook page.
4. Leave a comment on this post with your first name and last initial saying you've done these things, and tell me what color Handna you would buy with your gift card!

If you donate at least $1, you get 5 extra entries! Winning this means getting a great item at a huge discount. I promise, you'll love it! I will draw a winner on next week's post! Have fun, and stay cool out there!

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