I've mentioned before that I like to support local businesses. Anytime a new business is announced or I see a new place pop into a strip center, I'm interested and supportive. Sometimes, I am perplexed. That's exactly how I felt when I first set eyes on Good Vapes. My initial fear: it was a smoke/indoor "gardening"/head shop. There are plenty of those not too far from my house, so it was a possibility. I guess I'm sorta relieved that it's an electronic cigarette/smoking store. As a former smoker (I quit 10 years ago after smoking for about 10 years), I'm not a fan of any smoking. I suppose "vaping" might be a better alternative. However, I know that not smoking at all is the way to go, and I know that anyone can quit if they want it bad enough.
In addition to firewood, there are other delightful signs of fall. There are gourds aplenty (can't wait to cook with them), Oktoberfest brews (excited to bike to Addison's big event this weekend and Lake Highland's smaller scale community event next weekend) and there are entertaining decorations that soon will occupy spots on neighborhood lawns and porches.
The Texas Time Trials. Again. The most challenging physical endeavor of my life (so far) is just about a week away. Twelve hours on a saddle. That's a lot. But then I think about the men and women who will do 48 hours next weekend, and that makes me realize I can and will do this. If you're interested in following my progress next Saturday, you can track me and the other racers here.
Last week's training went poorly (rain kiboshed my plans one day, a farm's pesticides floating in the air and inflaming my eyes shortened my ride the other day). This week, I've spent most of my time preparing — finalizing my nutrition for the weekend and buying/replacing gear, which includes some new SPD-SL cleats. It had been about two years, so I was due for replacements, as you can tell by the photo. Gear ain't cheap, but piece of mind is important. Knowing that my cleats engage and disengage properly is reassuring and worth well more than 30 bucks. These minor details are easy to neglect. However, it's worthwhile to regularly check your equipment so you can replace it before it fails and leaves your stranded.
Despite the TTTT training, I've managed to train fairly well for the Dallas Marathon so far. Running the hills of Lake Highlands has made the biggest difference. And reading a book like "Finding Ultra" has inspired me. I am faster, stronger, motivated and 10 pounds lighter than I was last year as I neared my first go-round with 26.2 miles. I know how to train more properly, what my body requires (a lot of water and a decent amount of Endurolytes) and am more confident. Less than three months from now, I