Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Whirlwind Move

How long would it take you to move?
I mean from the time you decide it will happen to the time everything is at the new location?

My record is 4.5 hrs.

I got a call last Tuesday at about 12:15 from a guy interested in sub-leasing my room.  I met up with him shortly after that and it was game on.

After going to class I rented a Uhaul and started throwing everything I had into it.  The new tenant helped me move out so it went a little quicker.  Lets just say this is probably the last time I will move like this.  Not a single box was used and nothing in the truck was tied down.  Probably not a smart idea but it worked!

The new location is on the west side of Saylorville Lake in Johnston.  It is super close to dirt trails, good riding and of course the lake.  Now I need to find a Kayak! For now I will have to commute to Ames every day for class but in two months after graduation it will work out great for riding to work.

The first project to be done was painting.  The room was a horrible dark blue. Who paints a room in the basement dark blue?  Seemed like a dungeon!  The paint job is officially complete with a much lighter cream color and light brown accent stripe along the ceiling.  Project number two will be installing a stove in the basement.  After that is in the whole setup will be complete.

Training has been going well also.  This is a rest week so just kind of going through the motions at the moment. I find that my body is a lot tighter and waking up is harder during these easy periods.  Anyone else get that?

SuperSeal is coming up really quick!  Only 2.5 weeks and I will be in sunny (hopefully) SanDiego.  Bring on the race gear!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just a quick weekly check-in because I know you are all sooo  interested in what comes out of my fingers... well maybe not. 

I have been throwing around the idea of moving for a little while now.  An opportunity came up for a basement on the west side of Saylorville lake and I really want it.  After going and checking it out on Wednesday it occurred to me how awesome the opportunity could be.  It is super close to the lake, disc golf couse, camping and good riding.  What more could I want, right?  
The only problem is that the landlord is looking for someone to take it over right away.  This would mean I need to cover 2 rents for up to 5 months or hopefully get a summer or immediate sublease.  The listing has been posted in a few different places but wow, there are a LOT of scammers out there.  Be careful of who is contacting you on Craigslist.  It can be pretty shady.  

A few weeks ago I started running in Brooks PureFlow shoes.  For training my go-to shoe has alway been the Brooks Adrenaline (whichever model was the cheapest at the time) and always loved them.  When the PureFlow model came out it caught my attention and thought they would be worth a shot.  They have a much less "solid run shoe" feeling and allow your foot to land more naturally.  
A long time ago I tried on a pair of Nike Lunarglide's and did not like their very cushy feel.  These are more in the middle of the spectrum of "cushy to firm".  Needless to say they are extremely comfortable and light for a mid mileage trainer.  These are 2.6oz lighter than the Adrenaline's and the weight is very noticeable.  They are also $20 cheaper so a win-win!

Winter cleaning is underway!
2 weeks ago I had 5 bikes in my house.  That number has been reduced to 3 thanks to eBay.  Over the past few weeks I have sold my Jamis Pro and Jamis Team road bikes.  They had been sitting around not getting used so finally pulled the trigger and got them for sale.  The Pro sold in less than a day and the Team took a week and a half.  They are finally off to their new owners and I now need to save all the $$ so I can afford to live after graduation.  A few other random bike parts have been going on the Bay as I find them floating around.  

Only a few weeks before I start racing!!! It is coming up super quick and at the moment I do not feel ready.  A lot can change in a short amount of time though.  Bring on the 2012 season!

Random snapshots

Just a bit of snow on a Saturday morning, (These are 2 of my remaining bikes)

BodPod test.  8%.  Felt like I was about to shoot into outer space.

Hy-Vee knew I was coming and had the appropriate cart ready.

Marketing class poster.  A work in progress..

This chick had the worst poof ever.  She looked like Mini Mouse from the back.  Definitely picture worthy

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No Mans land of February

So it is February...

Usually by this time in the winter everyone hates the cold, is tired of the snow and is about as pale as a ghost.  The same is mostly true for this winter except the snow mountains.. or any snow for that matter.  If nature is reading this it could definitely send us some and make me happy!
Back to the point.
It is the middle of winter with no snow and nothing too exciting is happening.  The little hope we have is spring break lingering in the almost reachable distance.  At this point it is one of those "so close but so far away" things.   My eye is on San Diego and the Super seal Triathlon.  As for now I get to look forward to class and tests. 

Training is going well. I actually don't have much else to say so am filling space ;) This is the boring crap. Cycling is strong right now with finally breaking my bike test PR.  It has taken a long time to do it so I am relieved to finally see progress.  After a little IT band flare up a few weeks ago things are back to normal.  Coach decided to dial back running a little to be on the cautious side and keep healthy.  At the moment I am in a swim stroke funk but that will hopefully get worked out soon.  The 4th sport of lifting is going well.  Lifting is something I have not been very consistent with in the last few years and hope some consistency will start to show gains. 

The nutrition experiment!
Last week I had the light bulb flashing moment.  Lets see what I can do to zone in on nutrition.  After twisting Ellen's arm and maybe in the end paying her with a bike she agreed to help.  This week I am going into the Bod Pod to measure body composition and doing a metabolic test.  After this we are going to start tweaking things so maybe I can get a little more out of my workouts and recover better.  It is exciting to think about getting so in-depth with nutrition.  You are what you eat, right? More to come on the experiment when we figure out how my body is functioning right now!

Random picture from the College of Design.  Must have been some pretty strong fertilizer!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Looking forward to whats next

I am going to graduate.... SOON!

A lot of thought and energy is focused on this right now. Not so much for graduation but the next stage of my life.  The thought of moving out of Ames and choosing where I want to live is really exciting.  It seems like I have all the freedom in the world to start building my life how I choose.  Maybe I am not thinking it out well enough but I am not too worried about it.

It may be jumping the gun by a few months but I am narrowing down locations for living. Craigslist has become my best friend in this search.  There are a few locations close to Saylorville lake I am very excited about.  Living somewhere close to trails and outdoor fun is a definite must-have.

My degree in architecture will not be used for a while as I plan on going to work full time for  After working there for a year and a half doing part time stuff it is time to see what I can do to help it grow.  I may not be getting paid as much but the flexibility for training and racing will be worth it.

That's whats up for this week.  Enjoy the warm weather!

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 Racing Season

The 2012 race schedule has been in the works for quite some time now. There were two routes I saw as possible options for this year.  One would have been racing smaller local races with the goal of making some $$.  The other was racing quite a bit less but making them bigger, higher profile races.  After much debate with coach Liz here is what it came down to.

Super Seal- San Diego, CA
Collegiate Nationals-Tuscaloosa, AL
Rev3 Quassy
Rev3 Portland
Rev3 Dells

I had planned on doing the Miami 5150 race until they cancelled it so that forced me to find another race.  Super Seal is on the last weekend of Spring Break and looks like it will be a great tune up for Collegiate nationals.  In 2010 I was 6th overall in Lubbock and hope to improve on that this year.  I have raced the Tuscaloosa course a few times and really like the course an venue.

The big question was what to do after nationals.  These halves were spaced far enough apart to have a solid recovery and get back into it before racing again.  With having done two before but crashing and not feeling like I got my moneys worth out of that race I am ready to get after some more half distance races.

When it comes to my race schedule the best thing to do is find what excites me.  There is no point in doing all of the training for a schedule that does not get the butterflies going.  The halves did this so bring it on!

Studio is still slowly progressing.  Hopefully the individual work will become group work and we start making something sweet.  Last Friday we met with the people at Reiman Gardens and got an idea of what they are looking for.  They are very open to ideas so we are still in outer space with our ideas.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Beginning of my last semester

I have recently started my last semester at ISU.  The 9th was officially my last "first day of class."  I am very excited about graduating and moving on with life.  I have been living in Ames for about 5.5 years and feel like I have had enough of it.  Its time to see something different.  Not quite there yet, however.

This semester is going to be a blast.  The 6 credit studio class I had last semester was a comprehensive architectural studio which was about as fun as it sounds.  This semester the studio is titled "Toys." Pretty awesome!  The final project of this studio will be to create a center piece for the spring exhibition at Reiman Gardens on the ISU campus.  It will be some sort of perpetual motion machine based on toys we explore for the next few weeks.  More to come as we make progress!

The two other classes I have are called Consumer Behavior and Strategic Marketing.  I have a pretty strong interest in marketing so thought these would be beneficial down the road.  There has not been too much progress in these classes either but hope they are interesting!

Training stuff:
After the mechanical mishap at Hy-Vee I finally got around to replacing the Sram R2C shifters with the Zipp replacements.  So far I have been on them for about a week.  They look quite obtrusive compared to what I had and the Shimano DA 10 speed shifters that have not changed... ever.  They may not look the greatest but they have an awesome feel in your hands.  They are very comfortable and I have no problem keeping my hands on the ends of the bars for a long time.  The other ones were just a little awkward.  As for shifting these are a little smoother than the Sram ones.  There is a lot less "snap" with each shift and more of a smooth glide between gears.  So far I am very happy with them.
Winter is HERE!!! Finally.  It was finally time to set up a proper indoor riding area.  Here is what I ended up with.  What do you think?  The trainer is out of the pic.. it was lonely during today's roller ride.

Monday, January 9, 2012


So my sister moved to Portland after graduating last May.  That means I did not see her from January of last year until Thanksgiving.  While she was home we talked about me taking a trip out to see her.  I ended up heading out there from the 3rd through the 8th.  It was an awesome trip and I should have headed that way months ago!

Day 1- To the coast!
We started the day by heading into her work (Cyclone Bike Supply) and doing a morning spin.  She has a pretty awesome job as an accountant for them.  She works a lot but it seems like the company culture is great and is really good friends with her co-workers.  When we finished up Ellen and I jumped in the car and headed toward Astoria, Oregon.  It is the most northwest point of the state and right on the coast.  The drive was really beautiful with a little sun, rain and lots of clouds.  After Astoria we headed down the coast through a bunch of small towns and then back into Portland for a night out with Kelsey.

Day 2- Hanging out in Portland
Today started with a run through Forest Park with Kelsey and Ellen.  AMAZING.  It felt like I was running though a rain forest the whole time.  If you are looking for a "one with nature" feeling I would definitely recommend checking this park out.  Later was a quick dip to get some pool yards in.  The rest of the day was dedicated to walking around Portland and soaking it all in.  It was cool to walk through the different districts and see the different landmarks.  For me the best part of it was all of the local restaurants and shops.  It is great to experience new things that you can't find in the Midwest.  We met back up with Kelsey for dinner at a Fondue place that definitely made me want to go run again after the desert came out.

Day 3-The Gorge and Mt. Hood
Started out with a swim today.  We then jumped in the car and decided we would find somewhere to run along the way.  That was a great idea after we found some more trails along the old highway.  After seeing a bunch of waterfalls we headed to Hood River for lunch.  The tiny tourist town definitely knows how to make some good brew!  The next few hours were spent driving around Mt. Hood.  Finally got to experience some winter driving since the Midwest is staying in fall mode right now.  At some point in my life I really want to live in the mountains.

Day 4-Ellen went home/Kelsey and I headed to Washington
Ellen took off for DesMoines early in the AM and then Kelsey and I headed to Washington.  The guy she is currently seeing is from there and she thought it would be fun to go check it out.  It took most of the day to get there and I went for a short ride later in the day.

Day 5-Ride/DSM
We got up and had a run/ride with some of Mike's friends.  The area is GORGEOUS.  Being able to look anywhere and see mountains is something I could get used to.  After a few hours of tearing up the concrete it was back to PDX for my flight.  Ellen picked me up and had some food waiting for me at her place. Such a nice friend ;) !

So how long before I move somewhere out of the Midwest?  Who knows... but its something I look forward to doing someday!