adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Posts tagged ‘Fruita’

race recap: Desert’s Edge Triathlon

The one I have been waiting for was worth the wait.

If it could have gone down any more perfectly, it would have seemed surreal.  I knew what my goal was, I worked hard to get there, and despite a few minor mishaps, it all went off without a hitch.  But there was a hiss…

Yes, a hiss that your bike tire makes when you’re unscrewing the cap to check the tire pressure in transition while chatting inanely to no one in particular right before your valve stem blows off.  You know that hiss?  I wasn’t familiar with it, but one guy pointed and said, “There’s a bike tech over there!”  I ran to the bike tech and he couldn’t get the valve stem back on the tire, but fortunately I had a tube with a longer valve stem in my bag, so he said, “Go get ready!” and I set off to warm up while he put on the new tube.  Thank you, Bike Angel Man!  The bike was all ready to go when I came back from warming up, and I was ready except for the man who tried to snake my spot in transition while my bike was gone (like, did you climb out of your warm sleeping bag into the freezing cold at 6 AM? No, you didn’t!)

It was FREEZING.  I mean maybe 40 degrees and colder in the shade.  You know, at the shady swim start and in transition.  I hopped down to the swim start, where I ran into my old friend Kathy, who was the person who ever started me on this crazy triathlon dream many years ago.  What a coincidence!  We never ended up doing a triathlon together, but my first race in 2010 was a result of a New Year’s resolution we had made waaaayyy back in 2002.  It was so great to see her on this special day!

Anyways, after talking barefoot on the frozen concrete for many minutes, my toes and feet were completely numb as I walked into the water and put on my goggles.  SNAP, the nose piece broke in 2 places.  I turned to my husband, Mr. Prepared, who looked pissed.  Like, don’t you ever check these things ahead of time?  He tried to slice off more rubber for a new nose piece while I appealed to the crowd.  A lady ran back to transition for her backup goggles.  I waited nervously, knowing it was my only hope but also aware that I am very particular about my goggles.  Somehow, they were perfect without adjustment and absolutely no leaks!  Thank you Goggle Angel Lady!

The swim was cold.  I couldn’t get going into a rhythm at first.  About halfway through the swim, I decided that I am definitely not interested in doing an open water long-distance swims AT ALL.  I had penciled one in on my race calendar for 2013, but it will be scratched.  A mile seems long.  8K would seem impossible, boring, and not fun.

However, this was fun- an Olympic distance is still so racy, like a sprint, but really requires training and preparation to do it well.  And each distance is just long enough that you are grateful for the change of discipline when it comes.  I was more than ready to get on my bike; however, I couldn’t feel my hands or my toes.  I threw on a long underwear shirt to help defray the icicles forming on my body.  Fortunately, I had done a little pre-ride of the first 3 miles the day before, and I knew there were a few quick uphills, so I prayed I would warm up.  I could hardly shift with my hands so numb, and I started to get discouraged, but I realized that every person was in the same boat as me, and if I worked hard enough, I could warm up my body.  My hands started to thaw around mile 6, and I got into a good cadence, pacing myself off some guys in front of me.  I picked off quite a few people on the bike, including some Air Force cadets (c’mon- don’t you guys work out all the time?).  I was almost thankful that I hadn’t lost any more body fat this summer, as it seemed the really skinny people were having a tough go getting warm and fast.  My legs felt very powerful and fast (thank you, Evil Genius, for your awesome taper), the bike was fast (thank you Charlie @Mountain Pedaler for the back tire size tip), and I went about exactly my goal speed!  The last climb made me ready to get off the bike and onto my wet, frozen feet.

I slipped off the long underwear, threw the sticky gels out of my shorts, and climbed into my running shoes.  The only small problem was I couldn’t actually feel my feet.   One guy yelled as we exited transition, “All I feel is numbness!”  I shouted back that it sounded like a perfect grunge song.  As Sarah’s kindergarten teacher said afterward, it was like running on stumps.  I figured if I kept pounding my feet into the ground, they would have to wake up, right?  They did…at about mile 4.  I had finally started my watch (so typical) on my way out of transition into the run, so I was pleasantly surprised to see 8:48 at the first mile marker.  I knew if I could keep it up, I would be able to put together my goal 10k pace, despite the numb feet.  I think Taylor was a little surprised to see me at 27 minutes after my first lap.  My hip started to hurt pretty badly at about 4 miles, at which time I promptly gave it an internal verbal lashing.  The last 2 miles were pretty tough, but I could hear the little girl singing at the aid station at mile 5, and I just kept looking right in front of me and trying not to look too far ahead.  Honestly, I didn’t really “kick” at the end, but I knew I had my goal without actually knowing for sure.  Sure enough, 2:39:28, under my goal of 2:40:00, and good enough for first place in my age group.

What an amazing end to this season.  I feel so blessed and lucky to have so many good people who supported me and motivated me and helped me reach my potential.  I feel very grateful I was able to complete the season injury-free and finish all of my races.  These gifts will not be lost on me at all.  I look forward to what the next racing season brings!

Desert’s Edge Olympic Triathlon
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Highline Lake State Park, Fruita, CO

 

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are we there yet?

This will inevitably come out of one of the children’s mouths tomorrow on our way to my last race of the season in Fruita.  Of course, they will be talking about the pumpkin patch in Grand Junction that is a planned side trip of the weekend, not the actual Desert’s Edge Triathlon.  Even when you are traveling for a personal event, you know, such as the one you have worked toward all season, it’s never about you when you have kiddos.  And that’s OK.  Most of the time.  Except for the time when you are a little nervous and constipated and trying to explain to your 5 year-old why you just snapped at her about her missing blanket before bed.  Mostly because you’re constipated, but also because you’re organizing a group of 4 people to a triathlon which includes camping.  The process becomes a bit cumbersome.  Especially if you can’t print out your checklists because your printer has died.  Which is just so typical, since earlier this week, your heart rate monitor decided to call it quits, and your shoes feel like their last run might have been about 4 runs ago.

Not that any of that is happening tonight at this house.  No way.

But you know what?  These are all things I can’t control.  And all I can focus on is what I can control.  Like which of the delicious gels I have never tasted before will I use during my race, since nowhere in the Vail Valley have they continued carrying the ones I like?  Gel taste testing.  Yum.  (BTW, I don’t know why people feel chocolate tastes good in a gel.  Barf.  Heartburn City, people.)

Other things I can control include preparing all my stuff for the race and eating well.  Oh, and my attitude.  I almost forgot that one until the 5 year-old pointed at the goal time for this race that I have lipsticked on my bathroom mirror while she was having her hair dried tonight.  She said, “That’s the race we going to this weekend, isn’t it?”  To which I said yes.  And she said, “Well, I hope you have a really nice time during your race.”  At which point I planted a kiss on her lips and thanked her.  I am going to do my best to have a really nice time this weekend.  And of course, in the words of Coach Evil Genius, “Make yourself proud.”  I know I will.

Stay tuned for the race report!

 

WTF- Welcome to Fruita

So… we got to have our first Fruita trip of the “season” if you will.  Taylor ran the Desert RATS 25 mile race.  I gotta say,  I LOVE FRUITA.  I can’t really say if it’s the place or the time of year, or the invariable beautiful weather that greets us, but I love it.  I saw a  bumper sticker in town that read “WTF -Welcome to Fruita” and I think I was even more in love.  Even when I believe a guy called me “jerk” from his road bike as I was driving my gas-hogging-anti-Earth-loving vehicle (SLOWLY!) down the road from the CO National Monument for the 2nd time that day.  Oh well, you try getting everything all packed up by 5:30 AM, ya jerk… WTF. Welcome to Fruita, I guess.

My baby #1 taking a hike.

Anyhow, I love that race, and I was psyched to go and see the finish (of which we made it about 5 minutes before Taylor came in), dig in the sand/dirt, etc.  Going to an ultra marathon race always puts your personal fitness in perspective, and Desert RATS was no different from any other race.  I texted Christine to tell her that going to the race packet pickup was like being the fat chick at the frat party.  I pretty much had to be the only lady above a size 4 there.  Oh well. WTF.  Welcome to Fruita.

Taylor rocked it in his goal of 5 hours or less.  He did it in “or less”- not sure how much less, since they count that stuff IN HOURS and I wasn’t paying attention to the clock.

Sarah and Meg running Dad into the finish line. 🙂

After the race, Taylor was a good sport and let me stop at Highline State Park on the way back to Fruita to get “acclimatized” to the water.  It was a BALMY 52 degrees.  After reading all these open water swimming books, I was CERTAIN I would be SO AWESOME at swimming in the open water.   I totally wasn’t.  It was pretty sad.  All those same feelings I have always had in open water re-surfaced and were twice as bad because the water was murky.  I thought I had open water swimming down pat, but I realize that I have not swum in anything but clear open water, so I kinda freaked.  But I did several hundred yards, even if it was fifty yards out and back several times.  I haven’t ever swam in a wetsuit, so it was good to know what that would feel like before my race in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks.

I am glad I went swimming there, since my goal is to complete an Olympic distance triathlon in that same water in October.  That’s right, I signed up for the Desert’s Edge Triathlon in October at Highline State Park.  It will be my first Olympic length triathlon, if I make it that far.  I sure hope I do, since it will look weird if we just happen to be camping there for the weekend and not doing the race.

I am pretty excited to end our race season in Fruita as well, since I pretty much love the place.  Mostly because of its proximity to Kohl’s in Grand Junction.  And they remodeled the City Market in GJ, so it has a very large natural beauty products section which smells a lot like Whole Foods Market, which I imagine is the closest the Western Slope will ever get to having a Whole Foods.  I could have stayed in that section of the City Market for the day it smelled so good. As it was, I walked in for a toothbrush and to let my kids pee (since the city parks don’t open their public restrooms until 7:30 AM) and walked out with $30-plus of natural products.  Plus, in Fruita, they have awesome food, camping, and a dinosaur museum,  which Sarah thinks is the best thing since macaroni and cheese.  Which she consumed at least 3 times in our 36 hour trip.  WTF, you might say?  I say, Welcome to Fruita.  And welcome to racing season.  Pretty psyched for what’s ahead.

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