Finally getting around to making this post but its been busy since the Columbus 5150 back on July 28. I originally planned to race in Columbus in case I needed points for the 5150 series to make it to Hy-Vee (Sept 1) but I made the first cut this year (whoot) so this race didnt really matter too much, but of course I wanted to do well.
My parents were driving up from Virginia to watch and we were planning on staying with my mom's cousin (and her husband Paul) in Columbus. Since its my mom's first cousin, I think that makes her my first cousin once removed? Anyway, we are related in some official fashion.
The race was ok... I swam well! Made the first group for the first time ever (a season goal for me) but it was a short swim (I was like 14 minutes) which was disappointing because we only put about 1min on the second group. I wish it had been longer so we could have really opened up a gap. I had a slowish transition and got on the bike about 20 seconds behind Ben Collins. I kept him in sight for the first half but he was slowly pulling away. Ugh, I mean he is really good but I think if I had just blasted through T1 and gotten up there with him I might have been able to hang on and force myself to stay with him. Instead I biked in no mans land coming into T2 in second but only about 1min in front of the main group. Ben went away with the win and I ended up getting passed by some good runners ie Kaleb VanOrt...again (though I still ran pretty solidly, I thought, actually (and I held off my good friend Ryan Bice) but I ended up finishing 4th...AGAIN!
I guess I should be happy with it, but it was my 4th 4th this year, and I am getting sick of 4th. I really think I had a chance to get up there this time and just didnt have the extra kick on the bike (which is weird because biking is usually my thing). Thats ok though because I am definitely better than last year and am still improving. If I stay this consistent next year and turn it into podiums, that would be cool.
The day improved when I saw that the neighborhood named a street after me. Also, Karl rd. (Karl is my real first name) was just a few streets over. Makes sense since my entire family heritage is from that area.
Speaking of which; while I was getting ready for the race, my mom and aunt were digging up family records and found this! My great x? grandpa Karl August Ruethenick after whom I am partly named. I got Karl for a first name and my brother got August for a first name. He had 14 kids! Damn. I might need a couple wives to have that many.
After the race, Paul took us on a tour around Ohio State for a bit. Saw the pool, and athletic facilities. And the newly renovated library which had amazing stacks with glass windows. Fortunately, being the end of July, there werent 60,000 students mulling about.
Hectic week begin! I stayed the extra night to Monday to spend a little extra time with my parents, but that was a mistake. My plane was delayed because of weather and I missed like 3x buses back to Boulder...whine whine whine etc. Finally I got back, biked in to lab, submitted a revised version of a manuscript (my second paper as a PhD student) which was just accepted this week to ACS catalysis! That night we had an epic cookout. I worked half a day Tuesday, packed up the car and picked up my roommate Rob and we drove to Durango.
We spent the night in camping under the stars in the San Juan Mountains, woke up Wednesday and ran on the Colorado Trail, got back in the car and drove the rest of the way to Flagstaff AZ where we spent the rest of the week biking and running and swimming and hanging out with Rob's friend Abby.
It was my first time to Flagstaff and I have to say, if there were anywhere I would live in AZ it would be Flagstaff. Everywhere else is blazing hot, but at 7,000ft it was cooler there than in Boulder!
Here is Rob in front of Sunset Crater volcano in the San Francisco Volcano Field. It last erupted 900 years ago and is the main reason Flagstaff has such high mountains.
Here are some of the ruins from the Wupatki Native American dwellings. The ruins, including the citadel, were all over on the N side of flagstaff. It was weird too because they were right next to the volcano. Why did ancient people always to that?? It seems like a bad place to set up shop...but then again, I guess the rest of AZ is pretty darn hot, so maybe they were smarter than they seem.
Here we are heading out of the highlands into the desert. Later heading back up, the storms rolled in and we got caught in a massive downpour thunderstorm and almost died.
Here we are later getting some dessert with Abby on the main drag of Flagstaff (ie tourist central). The candy apple was flippin delicious btw.
Finally, when the weekend rolled around, we drove down to Sedona for the afternoon. It was blazing hot and I felt temporarily sorry for everyone living in Phoenix. Poor masochistic people. We did a sweet hike to Devils Bridge and I lost ca. 40lbs of water weight. I see why they call it "descending into hell."
Panorama iPhone skillz. With weary dehydrated travelers on the right.
And here we are on Devils Bridge.
We did a bunch of other stuff too, like swimming, and eating, and RUNNING. The running was fantastic: beautiful trails everywhere, in every direction, and hot runner girls seemed to be falling out of the trees. It was pretty fantastic.
The drive back Sunday was long but we got to see a lot of Colorado. Tip: dont drive to Flagstaff. It may be only 1 state away but it is a long ass drive over a lot of very tall mountains with goats, Navajo Indians who cant drive, RVs, and other mountain related obstacles.
Now its back to work and some hard core training for REV3 Maine and then Hy-Vee on September 1. The biggest races of the year.... Until then.