Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Incoming Excitement

Right now life has a different rhythm.

I receive a phone call every morning and 4:30 am telling me if and where I will be working. When my phone rings, the apprehension of whether I'll be having the day off, commuting 15 minutes, or commuting 45 minutes hangs in the air. This is not a normal thing for me. Hi, meet crazy planner girl who has multiple color coded planners and whiteboards on the fridge. I plan ahead on meals, workouts, outfits, and everything else one could fathom.

Not knowing when my three 12-hour shifts will be worked makes life interesting.

In addition to that, our days off together (which are on the weekend) have a different rhythm as well. The most blissful moments we get are the early morning when we out for a run. It's that hour where he's not stressing about his next test, the emergency procedures of the T6 aircraft, or his next flight. We just run. And sweat. A lot. Hello, 95% humidity!

We then head to the nearest coffee shop where Ryan studies and I read, write, and find other things to keep me occupied. Pinterest usually wins. :-) Although the studying gets old, and ever Starbucks coffee gets old, it's still cherishable moments.

There are many fun and exciting things in Texas to see, but that has to be put on hold. He is here for his pilot school and I chose to come here to be his #1 fan/cheerleader/quizzer/breakfast cooker/laundry do-er. ;) Aka...trophy wife.

I refer to life being a different "rhythm", because it's not a bad thing. I wouldn't say this is a "bad phase". It's not the most exciting phase of our lives either. However, I know this will be a time we someday will look back at and smile about. We live in a horrific, dark hotel room at the Air Force Inn - I cook on a one-burner hot plate. Life is just different.

Here are a few things that I look forward to really keep time flying!

  • In 2 weeks, Ryan's "academia" portion of this school will be complete. Meaning he will only have to focus on flying and flight preparation. This will free up many hours on weekends to do fun things like visit Austin, paddleboard at Canyon Lake, maybe ride a roller coaster @ Six Flags....I look forward to this.
  • Next week we celebrate our 4 year Anniversary! I've been promised a date -- and I so look forward to that. I cannot believe how fast 4 years passed.
  • Starting September 1, we will begin training the Phoenix Rock 'N' Roll Marathon. As sick as this sounds, I look forward to those mind-boggling 20-mile training runs that make me want to place needles in my eyes. ;)
  • In October, Ryan will have his official Wing-Pinning Ceremony. I am super pumped to attend this!
  • And after that ceremony, I will remove all my clothes from the kitchen pantry (haha!) and we will pack up the hotel room and head HOME to Tucson!
  • Mid October, I am going to Myrtle Beach with my sisters, sister-in-laws, and Mom. We have talked and dreamt about this trip for years, and I am so happy that it's finally coming together! These women are the most important women in my life -- so this brings me great excitement!
  • November, we will most likely be going to an Air Force base near LA for 5 months for Ryan's last school. I'm already starting the lovely job search process -- and this time we will get to live in an apartment. (Woo Hoo! A stove!!!) Keeping a positive outlook, and looking forward to this.
  • Also in November, we are doing Ragnar with a group of my amazing friends! This time we added a few spouses to the group. Although Ragnar (200 miles, 12 people, 30 hours) is exhausting and crazy, I look foward to that craziness!
What are you looking forward to? Have you had phases in your life that had a peculiar "rhythm"?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Musings of a Road Biker and Snapshots of McCallister Park

I always have, and most likely always will (I pray) be a runner. Although many hours are put in lifting weights, road biking, and swimming laps. Running is the sport where I am most comfortable. It is me. I am a runner. In my 1st triathlon back in May, I felt rather awkward swimming in the open water, and REALLY awkward elbow-to-elbow among road bikers. But when my feet hit that pavement, I was "home"

Since we've been in San Antonio, I haven't done a great deal of road biking. I don't know the roads/trails around where we live, I have no one to call if I get a flat 20 miles out in the country (Ryan's usually in class or flying)......But since I had a random week day off, I decided to dust off the Mercier and my cycling shoes.

As I reunited with the road, I discovered a few things about my response to road biking that I never knew I'd encounter......

  1. It has the ability to restore my mind and destress me like none other. I think it's the fact that you're going against the wind 16 miles/hour, powered by your own legs, out of the open air, sweating, and heart is pounding. It is extremely empowering.
  2. The amount of distance you can cover in a short period of time stuns the runner at heart. 22 miles in 1:40?! Sign me up!
  3. You will find yourself praying & pleading with God to turn that upcoming stop light green. When you realize it's still red, you slow down obnoxiously, still hoping for a change. Finally, you submit to the reality that it's still red, unclip left foot, unclip right foot, feet touch ground, and the light will immediately turn green. Bahh! (For those of you who have never had the joy of clipping in -- just trust me on this one)
  4. Left turns become your worst nightmare. You will add 10 miles to your route if it means not having to take a left turn.
  5. For someone who's a bit of a total chicken on her bike (I never could ride no-handed growing up), you risk your life reaching down for that water bottle.
  6. You will fall over. And it will probably be at a stop light when you forgot to clip out both feet. You will pop up and act like nothing happened. Road rash will result. Depending on who you're talking you, you may change story and say you "crashed your bike because of some asshole at a stop light". When really, you were the asshole. :-)
  7. Sometimes, you will go up a hill in such a high gear, that you may worry about tipping over. 
  8. You may encounter a "fuller figured" road biker on the trails, and find yourself thinking "What I wouldn't give to have her butt" -- I don't care how fancy my gel-padded shorts may be, my butt hurts, and after an hour will you envy "cushioning".
  9. Although it sounds difficult and tricky, it is one of the coolest hobbies. Not many sports can you cover many miles, stop at Starbucks for a nice coffee, and keep going without throwing up all over the road. I know someone who did a 60 mile trip with her husband through CA wine country, and they rented road bikes and stopped at cafes to try "snacks" all along the way (they waited to be finished biking before they drank any wine, no worries). That is on my bucket list for vacation ideas!
I didn't snap any photos this morning on my adventure. But to be honest, it was all corn fields, cattle, and donkeys. Nothing too noteworthy. But I will share some photos from my trail run yesterday morning at McCallister Park.

 This is the photo I posted about a month ago, of the deer that I was seeing the 1st time I came to this park. All I saw were mothers and their babies. So it's interesting when you see the change this time...

 Only bucks! (Which are males) I know very little about animals and their mating patterns. I know the bucks are "in rut"(aka "on the prowl") during the cooler seasons (fall),and fawns are typically born in August. (from the little reasearch I did)
Maybe all the bucks are out partying since their pregnant wives are pregnant, and swollen from the humidity? ;) I saw about 6 of them running around!
Here is a little snapshot of the terrain. I had to be very careful not to roll an ankle, as some of it was rocky. Great corework, nonetheless!