August 2005
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Month August 2005

a weekend in NC

This past weekend Dan and I went up to Asheville for a weekend of visiting his friends & teammates. We had a few trainings planned which made me nervous – there was really no way of putting me in the same class athletically as his posse. Saturday morning we woke up and headed to Mount Mitchell (as if my company wasn’t intimidating enough, we just had to go biking where the recent Offroad Assault on Mt Mitchell took place, where I’ve read many horror stories of how tough it is). Monica, Dan, and Joe were my riding partners for the day (all of Team Litespeed). We blocked out 4 hours for the ride (that’s how long the sitter for Monica’s son Chilton (aka Chilly)was booked for.) I expressed some concern over the time; if it took them 4 hours, surely it would take me 6. But Joe says “I did the ride a few weeks ago and it took about 2.5hrs”, so the 4 should be a conservative effort. HA! They certainly aren’t used to riding with the middle of the pack racers!

We started off on a crazy climb, the first bit on paved road then changing over to fsr & singletrack. Wow. What a horrible way to start. I’m not sure what it was, but I was dizzy, naseous, and at times couldn’t push my bike up (Dan lent a hand in a few areas). I’m not sure how high we went, but it must have been through a few cloud layers. Then we hit a long rocky ascent on fsr. I’ve ridden on gravel before, but never seen this much rock. Truly unique. And quite challenging. Luckily I was feeling better by now and really tried a lot. In general I was pretty happy with this section, esp for not having seen this type of terrain before.

The crew waited for me one last time before we began a long descent. Yeah, most people can’t wait for this part to start. Well, we know me and my fear of going downhill. Any hope Dan, Monica & Joe had of me catching up was certainly dashed once I took a look at that first rocky, rutted section. While it seemed to go on forever (sad to say it was much practice in hike-a-bike for me), it eventually smoothed out a bit to stuff rideable by me (although I still had my normal freakish issues with tight trails that drop off to my left, causing me white knuckles). I managed to escape the cover of the forest with just a few minor bruises, in about 5 hours. (Joe & Monica had long since left to get back to the sitter. I think Dan took a nap while waiting for me :)

The rest of Saturday was fun, games, margaritas, and wandering downtown Asheville (loved it!). Sunday was a good breakfast by Dano, then we loaded up the car to hit Tsali on the way back. To prepare for the Tsali Challenge triathlon coming up next month (that I may do, but Dan will actually compete in), we ran the 4mile trail running course, then hit the left loop on bikes (about 12 miles), cooling off in Fontana Lake after each leg. The temp gauge in his car read 99 when we got back (ugh!)This will definitely be a fun course if I can snag a boat to use (the first leg will be paddling). After stopping at the NOC for much needed cold refreshments, we hit the road back to Chatt-town (getting to drive through my favorite gorge by the Ocoee in Cherokee Nat’l Forest, where Adventure24 was).

fall racing change

it was just announce that the 24 hours of adrenaline bike race i signed on to do with the bodettes in october has been moved up one weekend… now coinciding with the fall edition of SMAR. i will say bye bye to my gals and go play in the NC mtns instead. conyers, i will NOT miss your granite.

July Training Redux…

i’ve been a bit slack with getting interesting notes posted (busy at
work? driving to TN a lot? the suppressive heat of the south??) and now
that I have a race review to write, i feel i need to catch up on the
rest of the month first!

july started with a paddling trip down the tennessee river with dan,
jim, carol, ted, kevin & emily. we started early saturday morning,
launching from the greenway in chattanooga (dan hooked me up with one
of his teammate’s kayaks). we started by paddling on chickamauga creek,
a lazy but scenic creek that was way low, giving us lots of obstacles
to paddle under and around. this emptied into the tn river right below
the dam. after a few hours of paddling we stopped in downtown
chattanooga for a well-deserved lunch, and a rest for me. since i’m not
used to paddling, my right wrist & elbow had already started to become
irritated. during our picnic we had our first rain shower, cooling us
off but luckily not lasting long. we paddled more and more… and some
more. repetitive, yes, but also relaxing and fun (especially since i
hardly ever get to do this sort of thing). as the afternoon rolled in,
so did the storms. we had another great downpour that found us all
huddled together on the side of the river under some branches that kept
us relatively sheltered.

after a bit more paddling, we came across a generous family partying at
their river house (it was the fourth of july weekend), offering us some
cold beer. quite nice after a long hot day! shortly afterwards we
pulled up to a restaurant for some dinner. and beer. back to the boats,
although this time i tried out kevin’s canoe, hoping it would provide
some relief to my arm (which was killing me by now). it helped a bit,
but it was probably too little too late. luckily it wasn’t too much
further to the cabin we stayed in that night. some of jim’s friends
that we saw at the boat put in that morning also joined us here. day
#1: approx 26 miles.

sunday morning, after a deeelicious blueberry banana pancake breakfast,
we did a short hike around pot point (we stayed at the pot house ;-),
then hit the boats again, for approx 14 or so miles until our final
destination (another cabin). dan and i actually headed back to the city
to watch some of the tour de france and catch some fireworks downtown
(although we ended up missing most of them).

monday (and then in a few past/upcoming weekends), we hit some of the
trails in the mtns around chatt for a nice run. in all, dan said we’ve
run about 2/3 of the stumpjump 50k course. i love it all, but really
can’t imagine stringing it all (and then some!) together for one
torturous run. (un)fortunately, this year’s race is the same weekend as
SMAR2.. aw shucks! the trails are unlike anything near atlanta…
tight, technical, steep… gorgeous views that make it worth it. oh,
well maybe except for the one day i got stung by a bee on top of my
head. that shit hurts up there. dan poured a bottle of cold stream
water over my head, helping a bit. but still. stings have happened to
me so few times that i’m still a wimp.

ok, there you go. july in a nutshell!