Friday, July 22, 2011

An interesting two weeks (or how to stick with in on flood duty)

While I love triathlons, I am by no means a professional, which means my real job does have a way of making my training much more difficult. But where there's a will, there's a way. I just completed an eleven day trek on the road, but it was a lot harder that a simple 11 days to stay on track. First off, I mistimed ordering my UltraGen and Optigen HP, so I had no UltraGen and ranout of Optigen during the trip.

Part I of my journey was up in Wilkes Barre, PA. I was covering for the residents at the plant up there. Got up to the plant and it was already steamy hot. Susquehanna is a very cool place for me since I have access to a locker room and showers and more importantly, I are three measured "trails" inside the fence which is very nice since going through the security train when you are sweating like a pig. So for the first day I did 3 outside loops, but the heat was pretty tough. After work I found a nice bike in the health center and rode a tough hour. The second day was similar, but then after my workout, I got a call from the plant and had to go watch a test. That really messed with my sleeping schedule. Day 3 was a grind but I still had a great bike that night. Finally day 4, I knocked out a longer run and took the night off from cycling in order to get some sleep.

Part II started out with a 6:00am flight to Omaha, NE from the Scranton Airport, which meant getting up and departing the hotel at 4:00am. Got a little sleep on the flights arriving in Omaha around noon. From there I headed to Fort Calhoun, NE and that plant. Most people around the counrty may have forgot that the Missouri River has been having severe flooding since June. At the plant it was about 7 feet above flood stage. This made the plant basicaly into several island in the middle of the river. The NRC has had 24/7 onsite coverage since June 6th at the plant and I was going to be the swing shift guy for a week. I did manage to time my visit to coinside with an Excessive heat warning. Each day I got to walk down the flood barriers inside and outside the plant. In 100-108 degree heat and humidity the heat index was upwards of 115 most days. And when the sun went down the bugs came out in force. Plus it was still in the 90s. So I worked from 4:00pm to midnight each night at the plant, and got back to my hotel about 12:45am. The bad part was nothing was open after work so no food.

But on the good side thr Marriot Omaha had a 24 hour Health Center with some really nice equipment. So each night/morning I would go down a ride for an hour at 1:00am (something I never do), and then when I got up in the morning I would go down and run on the treadmill (since it really was too hot to run). Throw in the 2-3 hours rovering on site in full work clothes at the hottest point of the day, and it was a heck of a workout. The last night I decided to do a run at 1:00am since in theory I would do my cycling class when I got back. I also got another great break when I found a Whole Foods grocery store on the way to the plant, so I got Lunch and Dinner at Whole Foods and i certainly ate better that most weeks I spent on the road.

Just to finish things off, I got back to the airport in Scraton after a 5:55am flight out of Omaha find my car and first my remote won't work, then I find out it wasn't the remote, the car battery was dead as a dornail. Called AAA and got a jump, drove 3.5 hours back to the office and boom the car was dead again. Got another jump and got home and brought it to the shop. Wouldn't even turn over again once I got there, so no cycling class.

What a week!

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