Monday, March 29, 2010

Fringe Benefits

Let's face it; lifeguarding doesn't pay a whole lot and the forced 3 minths off every year strains our finances immensely. However, every once in a while I get to do cool stuff that people with "normal jobs" can only dream of doing or have to pay a lot of money for the same experience.

Last November was one of those moments when I spent a few days piloting a Jet Ski in the surf and around jettys.

Just over a week ago, I got a call from the boss telling me I'd been chosen for joint helicopter insertion training with County Sheriff's, Encinitas Lifeguards and Solana Beach Lifeguards.

It was as AWESOME as it sounds...

Waiting for the "go ahead" from the co-pilot (I'm the short one with the orange fins and whit helmet). Yes, that's a triathlon wetsuit. Notice the legs are cut for easy wetsuit removal in T1 ;). Loading up

"Thumbs up" to the co-pilot that we're ready to go.


Helicopter skids are SMALL when you're standing on them 30 feet in the air.

Out over the water
Cool vantage point because you can see all the bottom features that create the currents and surf. Very cool!


...and then we did it 2 more times. All that and a paycheck too! Way stoked I got to be a part of that. No idea when or IF we'll ever use that sort of thing, but we all had a blast jumping off the helo a bunvh of times. :D
As for training, it's been very hit-or-miss. Ten-hour shifts make it tough to get up the next day and drag my ass to Master's or head out the door for a run when the sun isnt even up yet. It's seriously making me think I should just race MTB this year; especially given that MTB races are HALF the cost of tri's. So tempting.
I've got a few days off right now so I'm putting some solid training down, but Wednesday I start 9 days in a row. Ouch.
Time to knuckle up.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March in Pictures

I went back to work full-time in March. I'm happy to be making money again, but they've put me on 10-hour shifts 4 days a week, which makes training difficult. On my rare days off I just want to lay in bed all day, stuff my face and watch T.V. I have zero energy for some reason.

Since my schedule is decidedly "non-traditional" I wind up training by myself much the time. The opnly exception being Master's swim. a few weeks ago, I actually had enough gas money to get on the MTB up in the Santa Anas. I pulled the trigger on the Motorway double-dip.

Top of Blackstar. Not working hard, but on a serious PR pace. Way stoked on it.
Snow-capped Baldy made for some awesome views!

A few clouds rolled in by the first Motorway run. Arm and knee warmers all day.

Heading up Maple Springs. You can tell I really love this climb.

Plenty of water running in Maple Springs; more than I've seen in a long time. Made it feel like somewhere other than smoggy So. Cal, which was really nice.
I finished the ride off with a 50-minute PR even though I was short on cals and semi-bonking on the last main divide section. I'm feeling really strong on the bike right now even though I'm swim-run focused. It's either the power meter or the HEED I was forced to buy with my REI gift cards. Who knows.
St. Patrick's weekend I usually run the 10K down in Mission Bay. This year, Holly and I had planned on the Black MTN 15K, but only one of us had the money for it. My turn to play sherpa.
We go there WAY too early and sat in the car watching the race crew set up registration. The time change hurt...a LOT. You know it's early when your'e up before the sun. At least it was pretty.
Yes, she makes that same face in every picture...

Race start. Defending champ Brandon Mills in the red, SkinFit tank top.

Holly finishing up. Poor thing looked tired.

Brandon went on to win in 1:02, breaking his own course record. Which is insane considering the course ran long (9.86 miles instead of 15k). Animal.
Holly broke 2 hours, which made us both happy. I'm pretty sure that's all she had on that day.

As for me, I'm just working a lot and squeezing training in where I can. Sometimes I get in a run or ocean swim on my break at work and sometimes I work straight through. Money's still an issue and it looks like I'll be betting everything on a few "big" races and that's it. The Xterra seson starts this weekend with Xterra REAL, usually my season-opener. Obviously, I'm skipping it since we don't have the cash for the drive and I'm pretty bummed about it, which affects my motivation. My brother, Steve, is doing it and I hope he does well.
Oceanside 1/2 IM is also this weekend. Still debating if we're gonna go spectate: Slater and Monique are racing it as is one of my athletes, but I think I'd rather be training.