May 2005
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Month May 2005

another weekend of mud

i should have guessed that weekends=rain by now. saturday started off nice enough… melissa and i went down to arrowhead trails in macon to scout out the area for the upcoming xterra off-road tri coming in june. we happened to run into cath & jane down there too while we were trying to figure out where the heck the trails were. we found some small arrows and colored ribbon that marked some barely-there trails. I know that SORBA-OMBA is working on this trail system, but they just don’t seem to be in shape for a big event. they weren’t very groomed, very tight and twisty (making for impossible passing), and then quite technical, esp when compared to last year’s venue (dauset). after riding and scouting out the area for a bit, we decided to go for a swim in lake tobesofkee. a small beach near the camping area looked the safest (nicer areas were a bit more open and therefore to close to the crazy jet skiers). a sign stated No Lifeguard On Duty & Swim At Your Own Risk. (then in smaller type more rules, including don’t swim outside the buoys). well the swim area was fairly small and churned up by splashing kids. and there was a lifeguard there for some reason. we took our chances and after a lap inside, kept going past the buoys. then the whistles and shouts started. geeze louise people. do we look (dressed in our bike shorts & tri tops) like we’re out just frolicking?? no, we’re here for a purpose. and we’re swimming at our own risk. well with all the kids yelling, we had no choice but to get out. we called it a day. and after picking 2 ticks off me, i consider the day to be a bust.

sunday was supposed to be nice (with the rain moving in on monday). well, the sprinkles started on saturday evening and only got worse as sunday progressed. josh and i went to conyers and dodged raindrops on our bikes. it was actually a nice ride as long as i stayed off the slick scary granite. it was amazing how cool it got outside (josh looked like a rainbow with all his misc gear on to keep him warm :-) i can’t remember how many laps we did, but i’m sure it was negated by the pizza & beer for dinner.

and monday (it being memorial day weekend) remained wet and soggy, forcing me to stay inside and get caught up on work stuff. (or, sorta caught up)

Helen Fat Tire Festival, Race, & Mudfest

i’ve been wanting to try one of the GAP mountain bike races for awhile
now and finally bit the bullet this weekend. saturday josh & i went up
to helen so he could preride the course. i went to escape to the
mountains and get a bit of time on the trail before the race at Tsali
next weekend (goodbye pavement!!) once on course, i was pleasantly
surprised that it wasn’t nearly as technical as i had thought it might
be. lots of climbing. LOTS. my legs felt it early, perhaps still
recovering a bit from the tri last weekend. i took one little spill
going up a rocky hill that really wasn’t that bad, except for the fact
that a big rock nailed my right kneecap. it’s like hitting your funny
bone on your elbow. far from pleasant. after 2 easy-paced laps, we ran
into some of my BOD crew in the parking lot. it turns out natalie
wasn’t feeling well, but had pre-registered for the race. instead of
her being out the money, i decided to take her place. i liked the
course, it was supposed to be muddy tomorrow (although it was bone dry
today… i figured the AR chick in me might like the inclimate
conditions and maybe give me an edge), and hey, i needed a confidence
booster after having a bad week (on top of which i turned the big
3-0!).

sunday morning i awake to lots of rain. phone calls were made and
justine, josh & i decided to brave the elements and head on up. we
arrived while the experts were out on course. wow. you could hardly see
them with all the mud that was caked on. this would certainly be
interesting! the sport class went off, with josh, brandon, patrick,
mark, tracey, aimee & kate (and a few others too!). everyone finished
safely except for josh, whose bike broke (cable router thingee behind
the stem ripped off), causing him to dnf. too bad too, as he was really
rockin and on target for his best finish this year. finally it was time
for the beginners. justine and i lined up with the other women, many of
whom, like us, was trying their first race. it turns out there were 2
other adventure racers on the line – yikes, competition! one i actually
sorta knew (met her (katia) & her husband rob at coast 2 coast last
year). at the start, we voted unanimously to do only 1 lap, as the
conditions were pretty crappy. good, as i realized too late i forgot my
inhaler. yikes, those hills would get me! the gun went off and i
pedaled hard for the lead, knowing i wanted to stay in the front of the
pack. as soon as we hit the singletrack, the mud started flying…
inches thick, trying to grab your wheel. i tried to stay to the outside
to avoid as much as i could, settling for a rougher ride instead. soon
i was passing some of the guys that started in the heat before ours.
that felt good! climbing some of the hills were next to impossible with
all the mud, so most of us were jumping off and pushing up. i passed
several more guys as i ran up while they walked – i wanted to put as
much distance between me and the women behind me as possible! things
were going well and while my bike was sliding all over the place, i
remained in control. oh, but my luck would not last forever. i did
have a nice wipeout once as my bike turned right sharply and i was
launched forward to the left. nice slide, but nothing really hurt
(although my foot nearly cramped up). i hopped back up and continued
on, happy that i did not slide into the ditch that had a metal drainage
pipe in it. i rode a bit further when i heard a familiar voice behind
me, ready to pass. it was the c2c girl, katia. as she rode by, she said
how much better she did on the downhills that the ups. dang! of course
i have my problems on the downhills, especially in these conditions! we
were in a new part of the course, as it had been rerouted from what i
rode yesterday to eliminate some dangerous sections (2 people had to be
taken to the ER saturday with broken collar bones, among other
injuries). i didn’t know if i’d have the opportunity to overtake her. a
few minutes later i figured out not, as there i was at the final muddy
descent to the finish line. people lined the side, as it had become the
prime viewing area for endos. the people cheering made me nervous, and
not wanting to please them with another crash, i set one foot down and
sorta slid for a bit to try and maintain a bit of balance. luckily i
got through that safely, but finished about 50seconds behind katia.
(this did get me 2nd in my age group, which also happened to be 2nd
overall in beginner women). justine followed a few minutes later,
getting 2nd in her age group too. we both got cool silver medals to
hang around our muddy necks. i did realize once i washed the mud off of
me that my leg did get much more scraped up during my fall that i
thought. maybe it’ll make me look tougher for Tsali!

surviving the weekend

i finished the half ironman and hope the pain of the weekend’s various events soon subsides. all in time. race report to come.

it’s heeeere! Gulf Coast Half Ironman

I’ll be leaving on Thursday to head to Panama City Beach FL for the Gulf Coast Half Ironman on Saturday…my first triathlon! I think I’ll be adequately prepared… definitely could have done more work on the road, but I at least have the endurance thing down (both mental & physical). Finishing the swim and then surviving the heat & sun are my main concerns. My parents are driving up which will be very cool – first race they’ve seen me in! Updates & results are supposed to be posted here during the race. My age group starts at 6:35am. I’ll begin with a 1.2mile swim in the Gulf of Mexico, followed by a 56mile bike, and ending with a 13.1mile run (or should I go ahead and call it a walk?!) I’m really not sure how long this should take me, but I’m guessing between 6 & 7 hours. Of course I’ll write a full report … pending my survival!

quote of the moment. maybe.

“knowing is better than wondering”
this is up for discussion actually. it was said last night in conclusion to one of my cheesey nightly tv shows that destresses my day. i totally connected with it at first. as a girl, i wonder. a lot. which is annoying. so in that aspect, knowing is nice. but then the adventurous person in me says no way. if you wanna know, do a tri. (ha! and i will this weekend!) but that really is one thing i like about adventure racing. the element of the unknown. the surprise when the course is announced at the start. studying the maps to figure out where the heck we are going and how the heck we’ll get there. climbing to a ridgeline i’ve never been on before and being rewarded with an unexpected breathtaking view. i’m sure the triathlon will have its glorious moments, but following a marked course on pavement is just too much known stuff. i’m afraid i’ll get highway hypnosis. (i’ve been told the a-ha moment of a half-ironman is crossing the finish line. geeze, that’s a long time to wait for that reward! not that it won’t be great when i eventually make it there.) there i go again. pondering the moment too much. i’ll stop now.


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