A world away

Yesterday I traveled to a place not so far from home but yet a world away. I am not a part of the Redstone Arsenal Community and access is limited to those who have need to visit and work there. However, it is a vast space of greenery and backroads. It was a pleasure to be on post.

As I passed by the Payload Operation Center for the International Space Station, I made a decision to blog and show pictures. Even though the locale is so nearby, it is taken for granted and many people around the world would love to have access to such an entity.

While there, I also passed by key buildings for Marshall Space Flight Center — immaculate and well-kept grounds.

The much anticipated Sept 28 brought me there for a duathlon: 2 mile run, 14 mile bike, 2 mile run. The event was Racin’ The Station.
Apparently it takes the International Space Station about 91 minutes to orbit the earth. The “mission” was to finish this event with in 91 minutes and thereby, “beat” and “race” the station.

Personally, my goal was to finish the race in 2 hour and 30 minutes. I did that!

This blog tells about the day.

I arose early at about 5:16. I loaded the bike into the car and headed out around 6:15. I arrived at the Redstone Arsenal Gate 9 at 6:35 and expected a delay. The guard glanced at my license, asked me if I was there for the race and welcomed me. I proceeded to locate the event at Building 4316.

Upon arrival I parked beside my fellow TRI 101 colleague Tom McKensey. Then I road the bike to the transition area where I met fellow TRI 101 colleague Mike Rogers and coach Rick Greif . We saw other TRI 101 peeps as well.

The opening ceremony was engaging as we received a personal message from an astronaut aboard the International Space Station encouraging us on our race. She mentioned that — at the speed that the ISS travels, it would take them about 3 seconds to complete our course — that is amazing.

A really cool real-time welcome from an astronaut aboard the ISS

If I had to do it over, I would douse muscle milk before each event, not just before the bike. I would also do more shoulder exercises as holding handlebars for 1 hour and 15 minutes gets somewhat tense.

Also, if the weather is 65 degrees our higher, I’d definitely opt for sleeveless!

The good news is that I estimated 90 minutes for the bike ride and I completed it in 1 hour and 15 minutes and I estimated 2 hours 30 minutes for the entire race, and I completed it in 2 hours 9 minutes.

Overall, it was a fabulous day for a race. Perfect weather and clear skies. It was important to me to maintain my triathlon training, keep in shape and prepare for another race. I ask God to keep me healthy and mobile and able to train, run and bike. It is a gift to be vertical and moving! Here is to the next race!

I’m in the back, way, way in the back!


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