Yes...today's the first day of my last training block before taper. Rest week was good but I'm still feeling tired. Last week I did a total of 9 hours of training. 4 hours/75 miles bike, 2.5 hours/20 miles running, 2.5 hours/6500 meters swimming. For those of you not familiar with Albuquerque, Saturday the International Balloon Fiesta (IBF) began. IBF is Albuquerque's biggest tourist event in which people come from everywhere to watch 100s of hot air balloons take off in the mornings or light up their balloons at night (balloon glow). It's a novel event, I guess. The one downside to it is avoiding vehicles meandering all over the road as the drivers focus on the balloons above. I went on my Saturday morning ride a little later to avoid this. But, I didn't leave late enough because there were 4-5 occasions where I had to brake really hard (on my bike) not to rear end a vehicle that stopped abruptly in the middle of the road. Why wasn't I on the shoulder you ask? Because the shoulders were lined with people parked gawking out their window watching the balloons land in the middle of the fields between Albuquerque and Bernalillo (my usual Saturday morning ride). It wasn't too bad, but the IBF lasts all week. We'll see.
Fall is now in the air. Fall's my favorite season. I love it when the hot summer breaks and you can smell fire wood burning (as opposed to residents of the valley burning garbage). I'm generally a cool weather creature. I suffer in the hot extremes. For this reason, I'm a bit concerned about the weather in Albuquerque cooling too quick relative to Phoenix. I don't want it to be too hot during the big day and I over heat. The other thing I really like about the fall is Halloween. For those of you who don't know, my birthday is on Halloween. Honestly, I couldn't think of a more fitting day for me to celebrate my birthday. There isn't a better holiday! I'd like the theme of jack-o-lanterns, black cats, ghosts, ghouls, goblins, witches, skeletons, and trick-or-treating to happen year round. Then, this world would be a much better place to live. Business meetings would be less serious because everyone would be dressed up. The office would full of candy all the time. TV programming would have a scary movie theme. Shrieking and howling wouldn't be so frowned upon. Gosh...I get teary eyed just thinking about how much I love Halloween. These last few years I've dressed up like a nun. Now I need to pick something new. We'll see.