Pushing the Limits

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These past few weeks have been all about pushing my limits a little further.  I’ve been handed some new responsibilities at work. They called it a promotion, but that seems like a clever marketing ploy. To me it seems like a lot more tasks, a little more money, and new business cards because they dropped a word from my title. The new workload plus a big project has created a perfect storm for a chaotic few weeks in my professional life. But, I’ve had the chance to really see how much I can learn and accomplish at work in a short amount of time and with a number of problems to solve along the way. I’ve also been working on tighter deadlines again which is something I actually really miss from being a news producer. Not to mention that I’ve gotten plenty of opportunities to practice my patience and kindness towards others. I can always use some work in that department.

While all this work stress has really cut into my blogging time it hasn’t really affected my tri training, fortunately. I rode 70 miles a few weekends ago. That was my furthest bike ride yet. I felt great! Honestly, I even surprised myself at just how strong I felt the entire way. The ride was a kickoff the the ATLAS 4000. That ride is for UT students who commit to cycling from Austin to Alaska to raise money for cancer research. We rode with them on their first 70 mile leg from Cedar Park to Lampasas. First of all, those kids are awesome. I can’t imagine committing to that kind of fundraising and riding at that age. It was a lot of fun to join them and to learn more about their training and motivation. Plus, I met these guys who were cycling in cowboy boots.

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Yes, those boots clip in.

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The riders are now somewhere around Colorado Springs. You can read about their adventures on their blog.

Now to get back to how awesome and strong I felt. The first 25 miles of the ride were pretty flat. It was a cooler, cloudy day. After the stop at 25 miles you can choose either 50 or 70 miles. I was already riding with a group planning on the 70 mile route to so I followed them in that direction. As soon as we turned on that route we went right into a strong head wind and an uphill climb. It was as if nature was testing to see if we were really serious about riding that 70 miles. But, the good company helped distract me and after about 20 miles we turned out of the wind and onto a flatter route. The ride itself was just gorgeous. We rode for most of the time on small, country roads lined with beautiful wildflowers.  I also loved seeing all the horses, goats, and cattle that you just don’t find that often inside the city limits. I wanted to stop and take so many pictures, but I had those 70 miles to complete. So, the only one I have to show you is of these creepy old house that my friend snapped a photo of. He’s fast enough to stop and take pictures along the way. I wasn’t riding with him, but I noticed the house too because it looks like the set for a horror film.

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The ride ended at a winery with a plethora of alcoholic beverages and tasty barbeque. My great experience on this ride convinced me that I am ready for the Hotter Than Hell century ride in August. Yes, it is in Texas and it lives up to the name. I also feel more confident about my ability to finish a half ironman. The lesson I’ve learned these past few weeks, both on and off the bike, is that you just don’t really know what you’re made of until you push your limits. Safe riding, friends!

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