Sunday, April 26, 2009

Excuses excuses excuses...

I know I have been really positive about all the fun things we are doing down here, but truth be told I have not been doing what I said I was going to do...

The "plan," back in December, was to be in the best shape of my life going into Memphis in May. To PR at the Olympic distance tri and "go out" on top. Not that I am quitting tris, just thinking about starting a family in the distant future...I will go into that in more detail later. ;-) Anyway, with moving, starting a new job, and all the new obstacles that go along with moving to a new state...I have done less training than EVER. Ugh. I am so depressed.

I was all set (in my mind) to do this sprint triathlon today. Really, I was as of last Wednesday. I thought, ok I am not in the best shape, but it it only a sprint. I can pull that out of my arse any day, right? Then I got to thinking. Ugh. The race was $65. Andy and I have not renewed our USAT memberships, so it would have been an additional $35 to get that up to date. Then I realized that when I packed up all our stuff in February, my racing flats were garbage and I threw them out. Not a big deal right? Wrong. The running shoes I got for Florida were a half size too big (thanks to the sales guy not listening to me and my last minute decision to get new shoes before an IM). So if I ran in sloppy running shoes with out socks then I was sure to get blisters. Waitresses + blisters = unhappy working environment. So I decided not to do the sprint today.

Andy and I were talking the other night, and we are so happy we moved and are starting a new life, but with living in a rental house (poopy), STILL waiting to hear about financing on the house we found (double crap), and trying to stay positive through it all; training and racing have really taken a back seat to pretty much everything. We feel really disconnected from our life. For me, I won't speak for Andy, being active and healthy means more to me than I thought. Maybe if I had an expensive Ironman out there looming in the future... Not sure. I thought MIM would be a good motivator. I have got to dig deep and find a reason to feel good about myself or I am going to be 200 lbs. the next time any of you see me ;-) Just kidding.

All I know is it is a beautiful day here in the dirty south and I can NOT seem to get my butt out there to run, bike, or swim! Grrrr.

Not sure if you all really wanted to hear me ramble on about my poor racing attitude, but thought this was the best way to get this off my chest. Thanks for reading.

Hope you all are having a better day.

Take care, Heather

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Heather Sweet: Travel Agent/Tour Guide

Our first family visit has come and gone, I have been doing some thinking about what is there to do here when people come to visit? Elaine was really good about getting me thinking about these things...

My biggest aggravation is sitting around the house watching TV. That is NOT my if you come to visit, be prepared to get out and do stuff.

Here are somethings I thought would be good...
  1. Lookout Mountain (Rock City and Ruby Falls)
  2. Raccoon Mountain (mountain biking, TVA visitor's center, and hiking).
  3. TN Aquarium
  4. Chattanooga Zoo
  5. Coolidge Park in downtown (ride a carousel)
  6. Georgia Winery
  7. Hunter Art Museum
  8. Hang Gliding in the Sequatchie Valley or Lookout Mountain Valley
  9. Chattanooga Nature Center
  10. Shopping on the North Shore
  11. Chattanooga Ducks on the TN River
  12. Outdoor Chattanooga (white water rafting on the Ocoee, rock climbing, hiking/mountain biking.)
  13. Chattanooga Ghost tours
  14. Chattanooga Symphony and Opera
  15. Murder Myster dinner in downtown
  16. Chattanooga Lookouts baseball game
  17. Chickamauga/Chattanooga National Military Park
  18. Hike the Cumberland Trail
  19. Tons and tons and tons of great restaurants

*Keep these in mind when you visit.

Thanks, Heather

Visit from the In-Laws...

This past weekend Andy and I got a visit from his mom and step-dad, Elaine and Al.

They got into town on Saturday afternoon. While Andy was working, I was able to show them downtown and the riverwalk along the TN river that cuts through the center of Chattanooga. After that, I headed to work and Andy, Elaine, and Al all headed back to our rental house for some dinner and a visit.

The next morning (Sunday) Andy and I headed to rural Georgia for Andy's first road bike race of the 2009 season. Since he is just starting out, he had to enter into Category 5 for this race. There are 5 categories (1-5) in addition to a masters category in road bike racing. You start off in 5 and have to move your way up by winning races or completing a certain amount of races. Andy was going to enter into the TT on Saturday morning, but a) he doesn't have a full ready to go TT bike and b) he would have been late to work if he would have done it. Anyway...he finished the Chattanooga Georgia Cup Road Race Cat. 5 in second place! If he would have done the TT it would have been a stellar overall finish, but oh well. Next time ;-)

Andy just got word that he got his advance and is now a Cat. 4. Hopefully, by the end of the season, he will be Cat. 3. :) So proud of you baby.

...back to the visit :) Elaine and Al were able to get to the race to see Andy finish and get some great pictures. When we get those from Elaine, I will post them.

After the race, Andy headed back to Chattanooga for work; and Elaine, Al, and I headed to the Chickamauga Battlefield in GA. We got our civil war history lesson for the day. I passed out in the car ride back home and got ready for work.

Elaine and Al came into work Sunday night for some dinner at Hennen's. I think they had a wonderful dinner...and the service wasn't bad either ;-)

Monday I had to work a double. Grrrr. So it was Andy's day to hang with his mom and Al. They drove to see the house we hopefully are going to buy (still waiting to hear about financing) and drove to Lookout Mountain and did some sightseeing in the Sequatchie Valley.

Tuesday morning we headed to my favorite breakfast spot, Aretha Frankenstein's. Best pancakes EVER!!! If anyone comes for a visit...we are going there. Be prepared to be satisfied and eat your weight in pancakes. Yummmmmmm.
After breakfast, we headed to the Georgia Winery in GA and sampled some wines. Yeah drinking on my day off! The winery was fun, but they grow sweet thick skinned Georgia Muscadine grapes. Consequently, sweet wine. Andy and I found 2 bottles we liked, but not a type of wine we usually go for. I was thinking, this wine would be perfect for my mom. ;-)
We drove to Raccoon Mountain and went to the visitor's center at TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) and got some information about the reservoir and the hydroelectric power they produce on the top of Raccoon Mountain.

Yup...this is the same "top of the mountain" I rode my bike up in the 70 mile bike ride I did a couple of weeks ago. We were able to show them some of the mountain bike trails we have ridden on too. We also drove down the 20 minute steep climb Andy and I did. I think Elaine and Al were surprised at how steep the road was and how long it was too ;-)

After sightseeing, we went to pick up Jacqueline, Andy's cousin, for dinner. We went to the Curry Pot on the far east side of town. Great Indian food. We loved it. Got a ton of food for very little.

After dinner, it was time to say good bye. I was really choked up and tried not to cry. It was a good visit and it was so nice to see family. I have been away for only 6 weeks, while Andy hasn't seen anyone from home since November 7th!

POST visit: I did a 50 mile bike ride with a really cool group on Wednesday morning. My legs are thrashed...yeah! Then I went to work. Work is going well. I am feeling more and more confident about the menu and computer. Things there are looking good.

Training is sporadic at best. MIM (Memphis in May) is just around the corner and I am getting nervous. To add to the of the ladies I ride with on Wednesday was asking me a lot about trialthon and my training. She is an adventure racer and roadie. Hmmm why the interest? Come to find out...they (a couple of ladies on her road team) are rooting for me to "crush some of the local competition." I asked her not to tell me any of their names...too much pressure for this gal from IL with hardly any training under her belt this season. The Scenic City tri on April 26th could be very interesting. I have done well at Sullivan in the past, but there was not the "usual" competition that was at the mid season races. Hard to judge how things will turn out...

Right now we are in the middle of getting financing on a beautiful home in the woods in north Soddy Daisy. Hopefully by the weekend we will have some good news to post/call about.

I guess that is all for now, catch up with you all later.