Sunday, May 10, 2009

Snowing Ashes

We had another huge fire here this past week, the Jesusita Fire. It affected this week's training and sleep, and it kinda forced me to take an easy week, which was the plan anyways. But that's not of any importance, I don't want to act like my ripple in training is of any relevance as far as effects of the fire goes. 85+ homes were burned; I feel terrible for everyone who lost everything. Unfortunate. This one was closer to my house than the last. We were under the evac warning until yesterday. The first afternoon we were 3 houses away from the mandatory evacuation, as our street corner was barricaded and the cops were manning the corner 24-7 not letting anyone past; but I could still get home by going the back way to our street. All the neighbors across the street were forced out. The cops told me to get ready and pack up, and said they left messages on all our streets phones saying we're under a 'reverse 911' and to be ready to evac soon. We don't have a house phone, nor a TV, and our internet was down so I didn't really know what was going on the first night. I shouldn't have stayed since I didn't sleep that night. My roommates left, but I had already packed and unpacked my stuff twice. I was ready to go, then thought it was kinda silly to be freaking out since the fire was still a ways away, so I unpacked. My neighbors and I watched some flames on the hill get closer, so I decided to repack the truck again with my bike and a few clothes. I watched it for an hour, then decided to unpack and try to sleep. It must have been over 100 degrees in my room that night. It was around 100 that day here in town, and windy, which didn't help the firefighters, and I couldn't open any windows because the smoke and ash. It was a fun night of lying in my sweat and listening to helicopters shake the house. At about 11pm I heard the megaphones from the street, something about an "evacuation by the City of SB...pack your belongings and leave immediately."
(Here's a picture I took from my street). The next night I stayed in Goleta at my friend Chris' house, she's awesome, she let my buddy Taylor and I crash on her couch. It was night to get away from the ash.
The pool was closed most of the week, and I didn't want to ride or run outside for a few days. I took 2 full days off this week, almost a 3rd but I decided to 24 hour fitness and found a 15m long pool, and lasted about 15 minutes. A flip turn every 4 strokes gave me good turn practice though. I was going to use this past week as a recharge week, mentally and physically, before I ramp up the volume and start the 2nd building phase of the season. Mentally I've been trying to stay motivated lately, don't know why it's been hard lately. I still do the workouts, but need to stay focused more on the hard days. I am going to try to find people to train with more.
Yesterday I drove 40 min north with my bike to get away from the smoke, and found a road from Refugio Beach and started up it. 90 minutes later I had climbed over 4000 ft and to an amazing view, overlooking the green hills above the ocean. At the top I road about 5 miles south, and was above the layer of smoke and fog. It was incredible; didn't have the camera though. Good workout on my TT bike, as my HR was between 155-162 BPM for a lot of it, which is pretty high for me. I was wishing I had my road bike though :) . I decided to run 8 miles at night here in SB, after it seemed like the air quality was better down by the beach than it was that morning. I ran another 13 alone today around UCSB; I think the fires are completely out and the air is clean nice. Tomorrow I start up the swim volume again, and I'll probably do the local monthly 10 mile time trial race tomorrow night. This week I only swam twice! Yikes. Gotta get back in that pool!
In other news, my buddy Derek Yorek graduated yesterday from Adams State (finally..jk Derek). Yea buddy! He's gonna tear it up on the tri scene this year..this guy can (and has) run a 30 min 10k at the end of a tri!

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