Saturday, October 13, 2012

Single Track

Written by Dave

It has well documented that Leisha has not been a big fan of single track on her bike.  For those that don't know single track is typically a path through the woods just wide enough for one bike (sometimes as narrow as a couple inches for the tire only) and depending on the difficulty can include steep uphills or downhills, drop offs, logs, jumps or banked corners.  Back in late spring we decided we need to ride more single track to become more comfortable.  I must say Leisha has improved a great deal and looks way more comfortable riding.

When we decided to ride more I was thinking that our kids may like it.  I took Trey (8) by himself first.

He loved it...even though he is not good at smiling for the pictures.  It was very sunny and he couldn't get his eyes to open.  When Lexi (10) heard how much fun her brother had she wanted to go the next day and try out her mountain bike. 

She was a little more careful but she picked it up quickly and also had a blast.  We had a great summer riding trails.  We went probably 15-20 times over the last four months.
The youngest, Leah (4), had been hearing about all the fun we had been having at Sunderbruch and of course she wanted to go.  

Leah 4 months ago...
The first day we took off the training wheels she had it!  It was June 6th and she has been riding all over town every since.  So I was thinking how I could get her to go with us and not scare her to death so that she won't want to try again.  I had an idea.  Sunderbruch is a great park, there is a asphalt path through the middle of it and all the miles of trails go off of either side, but always come back out on the same path at some point.  I thought that Leisha, Lexi, and Trey could ride the single track while Leah rides and I run on the asphalt. 
Over the crest of the hill about 100 yards the other 3 turned off the path and took off on the single track.  When Leah and I caught up to them she says, "I can ride this way too."  I said something to the effect that it was difficult and we should just stay on the path.  That sealed it, she was going down the single track.  I gave her some instruction and we were off. 

She did great.  I took two short videos but once again I can't figure out how to get them from the computer to internet land so some still pictures will have to to. 


And the rest of the family...


We really had a blast!  I think I had more fun running the trails than riding.  It may have been just watching the family having so much fun.
We finished up that first loop of about 1.5 miles.  Leah needed a break so I ran with Trey and Lexi while Leah and Leisha rode the path and sat on a bench.  When we met back up I was surprised to hear that Leah wanted to go on the single track one more time.  I was thinking that this could be bad.  Usually one more time means someone is going to get hurt.  Especially the tired ones.  But against my gut instinct I said sure. 

We did the smallest section that we could.  We made it with no problems.  Back to the bike path and down the big hill to the truck.  Lexi took an extra section of trail down to the parking lot and the rest of us stayed on the path.  At the bottom, Trey and Leah rode ahead to the truck while Leisha and I waited for Lexi about 2 minutes.  When I rounded the last corner running at the bottom of the hill I saw Leisha picking Leah up off the concrete, and heard screaming.  So...lets get this straight, Leah rode all of that single track and big hills and she falls 50 feet from the truck in the parking lot.  

When I finally caught up I said, "what happened?"  Trey said she took her hand off her handlebars.  "Why did you do that Leah?"
"I wanted to be like Trey." 

Leah had a couple minor falls but did great!  We all rode/ran almost 3.5 miles and no major injuries.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Color Run!

Written by:  Leisha

Lexi and I ran the Color Run in Des Moines last Saturday. 


And after!

For the full report, jump on over to the family blog.

So fun.  And cold.  It should be my practice for adventure racing in the colder weather. Right?!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Thunder Rolls, Part 2

Go to part 1

DISCLAIMER:  It is very, very long!!!

About 11:30 we lined up, got first O map, slapped some asses (I think I still have a hand print from Bob), some needed to make last second bathroom breaks, and some were needing to use the bathroom but just stunk us out instead.  Looks like a 2ish mile run to the first cp then into the river for about 3 miles of "coasteering," picking up the first 9cps and 10 is a TA at bikes.

Bob wound up and put all he had into that one...and Leisha got a pic right before the SMACK!

First O map
 After the National Anthem Gerry counted down and "GO!" 

Racers behind the start finish line for Anthem

WTF, Tardy Rooster and Virtus are not known for running but you know at the start of the race you feel the need to get moving like everyone else.  I thought that we would run/jog for a while then walk, but no one wanted to be the one to suggest the walk so we kept jogging.  I thought it was great until I realized that all the glow sticks tied to packs were disappearing ahead of us.  At some point one of us looked back  and saw ONE team behind us.  What the hell, we were running and everyone still was blowing us away!!! 

We hit cp 1 with no problem and were into the river.  The water felt pretty good, not too warm and not too cold and I knew I should enjoy it now, it was projected to be in the mid 90s we were going to get hot later.  I don't know if we talked about it but Virtus and WTFARTR stayed together nearly the whole time.  I absolutely love racing with others.  I think it keeps it light and fun.  We had no problems finding he first 4 cps all in the river but I couldn't believe how slow we were able to move.  Someone was constantly falling, tripping, and cussing from stumbling in the river.  The actual physical act of this part of the race sucked because it was difficult, but ended up being one of the best part of the races just because of the company. 

We did notice at cp 4 we caught a couple teams that had walked past it and were coming back.  We grabbed and got moving.  At this point, I don't know if it was me pushing the pace or what but we lost Virtus on the way up, up, up to cp 5.  We grabbed it and I said lets go back down.  Should have taken more time to study the map.  We made it all the way back down to the river and I said, I may have just made the first navigational error.  I said lets try and fix it by going down river some more and trying to get up to cp 6 from the back.  Well that didn't work so I was really mad at myself and I am sure Brian and Todd were questioning me now.  I said we have to go back and climb back up past cp 5.  It cost us about 30 minutes, but the worst part was we never saw Virtus and I knew that Luke led them the right way.  I think we all realized that we had to pick up the pace to catch back up to them.  We hiked about as quick as we could.  Walked right to cp 6 once back on top of the cliff after a minor side track looking for the compass I dropped (which was Todd's back up because I left mine in my pants that were with my bike at the TA).  

After cp 6 we had to scramble, slide, free climb down a pretty steep hill/cliff.  But we knew where we were headed because the clue was cave and we have all been there before.  We moved quickly to the cave where WTF donned helmets (I am not to big on my own safety so I bypassed mine).  I didn't remember the cave being so long but would estimate it to be about 150 meters straight into the cliff and was about the size for one guys to stand/stoop in all the way.  Some sections we had to crawl but it was pretty easy.  After punching all of our wristbands to prove we were all there, we knew we had to keep pushing because Virtus was still ahead of us and the repel was next.  We MUST get there...this is where the golden speedo is supposed to come out.  

It looked like a pretty easy route to get there so we pushed the pace.  There was a path from most of the other teams but somewhere we lost it and we were doing some serious bush whacking.  Not too bad but when finished I was completely covered in burrs.  They were even tangled in my leg hair.  I couldn't get them off and I was having a bit of a panic attack about it.  I was brushing and brushing but they would not come free until I grabbed them one by one and I am not exaggerating when a I say there were hundreds and hundreds maybe even thousands on me.  I knew I didn't have time to pick them so, screw it. We kept going.  The good news was we made it!  The first thing I saw when the brush cleared a little was a pasty white Bob in his speedo and harness.

Brian in awe of Bob
We geared up, got some photos with Bob and got on the rope for a awesome repel in the dark into the river.  I loved it.  Bob and Brian ended up repelling next to each other.  Bob owned it.  He lost the bet and maned up...first of all I would never have bet something like that, but I would have said heck no and not worn it.  I felt a little bad for him, but I guess it is his own fault for the bet and loosing.

Todd getting to the bottom
We all got down the repel without incident.  Special congrats to Kate for her first ever repel, a 100' repel in the dark with a free fall overhang about half way down into the river.  All 6 of us were back together again.  Bob kept his speedo on and we were on our way to cp 9, then off to cp 10 which is the transition to bikes.  No problems with navigating we just kept walking along enjoying the night air, with friends and good conversation.  This was actually the first time I felt sleepy.  We made it to TA at 3:56am.

TA: everyone changed clothes but me...didn't have any.  I did take time to refill by Perpetuem bottle and wash out my shoes (lots of sand, and brought one pair).  We did pretty well. We were out of TA at 4:12, 16 minutes isn't too bad.  We took off ahead of Virtus thinking that they were stronger on the bikes and would catch us anyway.  Little did we know this was the last time we saw them...they had some issues and never caught back up.  You can read about their race at Virtus or SuperKate.  We enjoyed our time with them thanks guys!!

I measured the bike from TA 1 to TA 2 with cp 11 in between to be about 11 miles.  I knew it would be mostly gravel with hills but I was hoping for about a hour.  All of the navigation was straight forward but Brian was having some issues.  His stomach was hating him.  He had mentioned eating too much dried pineapple at the TA and though he was going to puke.  He was also fighting the sleep monsters.  At one point he went through a ditch of someones yard and hopped back onto the driveway by the culvert.  I thought he was just messing around but he said he was feeling tired.  He thought he was falling asleep.  At this point Todd was leading us and I dropped back to keep Brian on the road and to try and get him to speed up.  We were crawling.  Then Brian goes off the road again and almost got sucked into another ditch.  I kept talking to him and trying to get him to chase Todd but no luck.  We finally rolled into the TA for a huge O course.  I can't see my bike computer with my map board on but I knew we were slow.  Todd asked what the heck was going on...we were only doing about 5 mph nearly the whole time.  Well we made it but check in time was 5:46, 1:36 not too bad but we made it.  

We grabbed a Monster drink and headed out.  I had studied the map a little and knew I could get us pretty easily to the cps but I was concerned about the first one, cp 13 it was pretty flat without any good landmarks.  So I measured up and asked Todd and Brian pace count so I could get us there from a certain attack point and about 3 minutes into the hike they lost count and didn't know how far we went.  Not too big of a deal, we figured out another route.  We picked up 13 pretty easily and had some trails to 14, then trail to creek for 15.  Then I got us to a hay field where we could move quick.  We took slightly longer route but moved well.  As we gathered 16 and 17 from the hay field then to a road and trail right to 18, we noticed we started seeing teams everywhere.  We had not run at all but our route had us catching many teams.  From 18 to 19 there was a power line to follow which I think most teams did.  I had raced here before and knew it was extremely hilly there and looked for another option. I noticed if we went back into the woods we could stay low and go around all the hills except for one up hill.  We took it.  

I did not want to sound cocky but I said to Brian see those 4 teams climbing up and down the power line cut?  We are going to pass them all right now.  I wasn't sure but if we could keep up a pace that wouldn't be a problem.  My adrenaline must have kicked up a notch because I was dragging Todd.  Brian and I noticed that he had fallen behind a little on the one up hill.  We stopped and waited.  Todd asked for a break.  We all agreed to take about 2 minutes.  When we got back moving, we got to the top and adjusted course to walk the top right to 19.  We didn't see any teams around.  I was thinking crap we didn't catch or pass any of them...too much talking.  Or we had passed them and were ahead enough not to see them.  We didn't know.

At this point some of us were pretty tired and Brian and Todd were very low on water in their bladder.  I was ok because I was still sipping my perpetuem and hadn't used my water too much.  I told the boys to keep pushing.  I knew that cp 20 was at a camp ground and I was betting there was water there (I hoped).  Back down the big hill we just climbed and follow creek to the camp grounds.  Once there we noticed people were just getting up and were making breakfast.  I had noticed it was 8:09 and I said man it seems like it was the end of the day, but everyone we saw was just getting up.  We had been racing for over 8 hours without stopping or sitting.  We found a water hydrant and I said lets watch our time but take about 10 minutes to sit and refill and eat.  We all refilled water (and perpetuem again) as I was pulling out some ibuprofen and succeed caps when I realized oh man I had to get rid of all that pasta I ate the night before.  I was so relieved to see a bathroom right behind us.  It was the nicest bathroom I had ever seen in a camp ground.  Plumbing, tiled walls and everything.  After dropping a bunch of excess weight, back out to get moving again.  We threw the packs back on and were off.  

Not too quickly. But we were moving.  20 was easy, no hills just walked right to it.  Then I knew we had a monster hill to climb but we could do it on the road.  Part way up we grabbed 21 .  When we got to the top we were going to attach them all from the top trying to flatten things out but making it longer.  22, 23, and 24 were pretty easy terrain.  Then we had to climb down to the bottom of the cliff to 25 at a spring, which we were going to use to fill up but noticed a sign that the water was not safe to drink.  So we got wet a little to cool off and stayed low to 26. Had a minor navigational error but only cost probably 5 minutes. Then off to 27 where the ascending was.  We got there and were all kind of dragging a little.  I wanted to keep us moving so I harnessed up quick and asked who needed help.  The guys were also pulling theirs on and were almost ready.  So I said see you at the top.  The ascend was huge I think it was about 3 times as high as the practice.  I made it 2/3 of the way up very quickly then my body said no more!  I had to hang there for a few moments and regroup then push slowly the rest of the way up.  It was pretty tough.  

At the top my hands didn't want to work so I really struggled to get my harness off but I knew if I hurried I could get more rest while I waited for my team mates without making them wait for me.  I got all ready to go and sat down to rest.  After a little bit Brian made it to the top.  I think it was about 30 seconds after he sat that we both were sleeping.  Todd made it up to find us passed out.  I got up and pulled out my surprise for my team mates.  I packed 3 donuts in Ziplocs, in a plastic container.  The were pretty excited but my stomach didn't want any food.  So I threw mine away and kept sipping my perpetuem.  We were slow to move on but we got going. I decided to head back to the TA to attack 28 from the trail near there.  I think that this cost us a little.  We all wanted to stay and sit and hang out with all the volunteers there.  They are great!!!  

I was not very nice to Todd at this point but I had to get us moving to get the last three.  While looking for 28...I was off.  Kim, a friend from facebook, and her team showed up.  I know Todd and Brian were surprised to see them.  We all thought they would be way ahead of us.  They found 28 before us but we saw them getting it so of course we had to follow.  Sorry guys.  Then to 29 another cave.  We tried to find on top but no luck our two teams decided to go down the re entrant to the road and look from the bottom.  We were all looking and once again Kim's team found it first and we followed again.  We got to the cave and jumped right in.  It was incredibly cool in there.  I wanted to stay.  I bet it was 30-35 degrees cooler in there.  This cave was much shorter so we weren't in very long.  When we got out I realized that we jumped right in front of the other team.  I really truly felt bad (Kim if you read this I am really truly sorry, please forgive me it was my fault).  I hate it when people do things like that to me.  We then took off to 30 the last one before the TA.  

The navigation was easy but the terrain was tough.  We eventually made it to 30 and out to the TA.  12:41pm.  It took us 6:55 for this orienteering section.  Vounteer Chad said that he thought we passed 9 teams in that o-section.  We knew there was a ton of race left but it was only a little over half of the time gone. 

On the bike for a 1.5mile bike ride to the canoe.  It was flat and/or down hill the whole way.  We moved pretty quickly.  When we got to the bottom of a huge hill, almost to the canoe put-in, I had pulled ahead a little and all of the sudden I heard Brian yelling at me.  He said that Todd's bike had a problem with the brakes.  I went back to check it out.  His brakes were rubbing bad enough to almost lock up the wheel and were burning up his pads.  I spun the wheel a couple times and realized that his wheel was bent very badly.  I didn't know what to do...I didn't see any broken spokes or anything obvious, so I disconnected his brakes and said we would have to limp the last couple blocks to the TA.  We pulled in at 12:55 only :14 minutes for that bike section.  

After checking with volunteer Trent about Todd's wheel,  (He knows way more about bikes than we do) he dug a little deeper and found that there was a broken spoke and there was no way to fix it.  We may be screwed.  We decided to move on to the canoe and worry about it later.  

There is a big history about canoeing for all of us.  WTF is know for tipping a time or two and not keeping the canoe straight.  The Tardy Rooster team, on the other hand, does pretty well in the canoe but we don't really like water.  We have dropped out of races or skipped canoe sections before because of water conditions.  

We got started and I have to admit I was scared to death.  Our three fat butts in one boat on the main channel of the Mississippi.  The wind was blowing about 20-25mph up river.  We had to travel up river about 3 to 3.5 miles.  So we had current against us, wind behind us, and dozens of boats flying up and down the river.  The waves were pretty big so we choose to stay as close to shore as possible.  We struggled at times to stay in a straight line.  I usually paddle in rhythm and use a j stroke or reach and pull in rhythm to correct but it was not working at all.  I think it was the weight in the boat and all the wind and waves.  So I decided to paddle less in rhythm basically steered only.  The guys pulled us along at a good speed.  We got up to the first canoe cp #32 and collected after a hike up a creek to a bridge.  

Back at the boat I knew we now had to go around some islands and cross the channel.  I was pretty nervous about this.  We made it around the islands and just got started out to the channel when the wind was pushing the waves over the left side and front of our boat when I tried to steer into them.  Todd was pretty vocal at this point about getting wet a lot.  We were struggling to move and stay stable so we chose to pull back to hide behind the island and decide what was next.  We were debating if we should continue on or turn back.  The problem with that is we have to get the points in order.  If we skip one we would only be ranked as high at the last sequential point.  If we turned back we were quitting and done.  

We all agreed to turn back to head for home.  I was seriously sick to my stomach but all I wanted to do was get off this stupid river.  The way back took forever. The wind was very bad on the side of the channel.  I would estimate about 45 minutes to an hour to get back.  When we got back we knew we were finished but had to bike about 12.5 miles back to the finish on Todd's broken bike and no rear brakes.  It was 3:30 when we got out of the boat but since we knew we were done we sat around and sulked.  We didn't leave until 4:25. 

Todd had to walk some of the down hills because of the soft gravel and no rear break to slow him down.  But our pace wasn't terrible.  We pulled in to finish at 6:15.  We collected 32 of 55 cps and QUIT with nearly 6 hours to go.  I feel totally responsible.  I think that I could have talked the guys into going through with the canoe but I chickened out.  I am sorry team.  I know we all agreed but it shouldn't have happened.  

I keep trying to justify quitting.  We knew that we were well ahead of the only other team in our division.  So we knew we would get first in our division, we also didn't know how Todd's bike would hold up if we did try and continue, and to be honest we were all getting pretty tired.  But leaving all those cps and 6 hours out on the course is still eating me up.  We were 1st of 2 teams in 3 person all male, and 16th of 26 teams overall.  It was pretty cool because we were the very first 24 hour team to cross the finish line.

 After finishing we took photos, turned in passports and wrist bands, and were able to cheer in all the other teams finishing.  We also got our gear put away took a shower and had a blast eating pizza and sharing stories.  Most of the people associated with adventure racing are incredible and very fun to be around.  Thank you so much to the volunteers and everyone involved with putting the race on.  We got great swag from the sponsors and won a free pair of Solomon shoes.  I chose to give mine to Leisha as she needs them right now more than I do. 

Results for the food.  Perpetuem seemed to work great!  I mixed the drink in a 20oz bottle, half full of powder then topped off with water and mix. The down side is that I had to carry the powder with me.  I had 3 small gel flasks that I carried to refill when needed.  That worked ok but I have since found that Hammer sells a chewable solid that I will also be trying.  I had a small about of licorice as my only solid food all day.  Drank one Starbucks frapachino left with my bike, about 10 oz of gatorade, 4 20oz bottles of perpetuem, and water.  I felt good all day.  I was tired at times, which I expected but I did not ever really have a fuzzy head or felt "done."

Also, a big thank you to Brian and Todd.  I had a great time racing with you!!!  
I do regret quitting, but is not a huge deal.  I regret more not staying the night after the race for more social time.  Sounds like I missed out on some fun times.  

Overall an absolutely awesome experience, way better than I could have dreamed.  My first 24 hour race was a success and I am ready to take it on again!

Here are some random photos:


Thunder Rolls, Part 1

Written by Dave:
Well, I was not going to write a post on the TR this year because I knew my teammates would come up with a far better version than mine, but I decided that I would document things the way I remember them too.

The highlight race of the year for me (every year) is the Thunder Rolls.  This is one of the hardest best organized races in the country and it is fairly close to home.  I will not be missing it until I (or Gerry, the race director) are physically unable to do the race.  Well as it turns, out my favorite team mate was physically unable to race so that left me out. 

At first I was scrambling, wondering who would race with me, but then had many unfortunate events (including some one stealing my bike) happen in a short time that caused me to accept that I would not be racing in my favorite race.  After a couple weeks I had been talking with Tim "Time" Adams, who raced with me at the CAC non-race, and he was trying to come up with ideas of how I could race (none of which included him by the way).  He suggested asking Brian and Todd of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.  I didn't think that they would want to race with me so I kind of dismissed it and went on with life...later that week I was talking with Tim again and he said that he ate lunch with Brian and said that he had mentioned me racing with them and Brian seemed open to the idea.  So...after a couple emails and checking with MIA Beau of was on!!!  WTFARTR was born!!!

I believe we decided to race about a month prior to the event and for some reason we all agreed to do the 24 hr race.  None of us had done more than a 12 hr race before and it scared the crap out of me.  I had so many concerns, mainly how to navigate in the dark, how to stay awake for about 40 hours straight, being physically able to race that long, and how to take in the nutrients I would need. 

In the back of my mind I knew most of the concerns would work themselves out but I was seriously concerned about food.  Now I know what you are thinking...a 5'11" 200lb guy is not going to starve.  But I have been known in 12 hr races to race hard and not eat enough and by about hour 8, not be mentally all there.  This is not an option since I knew that I would be navigating for much of the 24 hour race.  I had said to Leisha about 100 times "what am I going to do about food?"  I am sure she got tired of hearing it.  While thinking, I remember Gerry telling me one time he rarely eats in long events.  He drinks Perpetuem and it is all he needs.  So I jumped at it.  Ordered Caffe Latte flavor and was only able to try twice during a couple hours of training.  Seemed to taste ok and no stomach problems so I was going to roll with it.

So for the next month I had received some of the best emails of my life.  I was laughing with the WTF guys nearly everyday about what we were expecting and fearing.   I was definitely wondering what I had gotten myself into.  Race week had come and I was getting so excited I could almost wet myself.  I wanted to race bad, but I also couldn't wait for the social time.  I would be with the WTF guys of course but we would also be seeing friends from other teams too.  Our friends Mike and Amy Paustian were racing (her first AR), Kim Chou (FB friend), and of course Team Virtus, they are like celebrities in the AR/blogging world.  Not always because of their race prowess (they won't be beating Wedali any time soon) but because they are very funny, fun to be around and just great people who would do anything for anyone out there.

Mike and Amy got first in 12 hr division
Finally, Friday, race day.  I woke up at 5:30 am because I was excited and couldn't sleep (not good, I would start racing at midnight Friday and not be done until probably Saturday midnight)...oh well maybe I would get a nap.  Yeah right!

Leisha and I left at noon because Leisha was volunteering at the registration.  I was so glad that she would be going to be part of the event.  I didn't want her to miss out.  We got there about 2, I got registered, got a incredible swag bag and started to organized my gear a little to kill time.  WTF would be there soon so I was just waiting for my team.  When they arrived I helped them move stuff into the cabin we could use for free, awesome!  I was not staying though, Leisha was planning on driving me home after the race on Saturday night so I left my things in the truck.  When settled, we didn't have too much to do, we were going to practice ascending but Todd didn't want to waste his stored energy so Brian and I agreed that sounds like a good idea. We did however decided to walk around the camp and check things out. 

Before too long Team Virtus shows up and the smack talk began about the tetherball death match.  All I know is that I wanted nothing to do with it.  The biggest reason is all of the bets that come from such competitions.  Probably the most common is the one between two Virtus team mates.  The loser had to wear a speedo for a leg of the race.  Bob ended up being the loser and he would be wearing a sparkling gold speedo for the repel section. 

After talking with the Virtus team we decided to join them in ascending practice.  Brian and I would practice and Todd would rest.  Just goes to show how much Brian and I are followers and will do what ever the crowd wants to do.  Practice went very well for us not too tough, nothing really to worry about. 

Next, supper at 6.  We had a great meal included in the cost.  The food was pretty good but it was very interesting to think about my last meal before I start a 24hr race.  Following the meal, we had the prerace meeting.  I love Gerry's meetings.  He is giddy with excitement about how hard the race is going to be.  I was not sure what to expect.  I knew the area a little bit so I didn't feel to intimidated.  I knew it would be very hilly but that is normal for almost any AR.  Last thing of the meeting is grabbing the 6 maps and course book.  We would also be getting two more maps later on for the trekking sections.
After the meeting WTFAR, Kim Chou and Virtus
After stealing the registration table from the volunteers, we used it to plot and plan routes.  I think I may have scared my team mates a little with my obsessive concern for details.  Special thanks to Leisha for helping to laminate the maps.  I think I said 3 or 4 times I try so hard because I always like to know where I am and where I am going (I know, I know, profound, but isn't that the name of the game?). 

When finished we made a last gear check and planned out clothing strategy.  Gerry said that the first leg we would basically be swimming and we could put what ever we wanted at the TA following.  So everyone had a second set of clothes shoes etc. for after the "swim".  Well everyone but me.  This is the only race I have ever done where I didn't bring back up everything.  I had no extra shoes or clothes, only socks.  My thinking was based on what Gerry has said in the past.  This is "old school racing," we will have not access to gear, must carry everything with you.  When finish preparing, we had about 2 hours before start time.  Tried to nap...yeah right.  I was super excited, nervous, scared and ready to get started. 

courtesy of John Morris
Here we are we are in the back right, I think that Luke and I got cramps in our calves standing on our tip toes so that we can be seen. 
To be continued...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Race for the Cure

 On June  9th, I ran the Race for the Cure with Lexi and my friend Ann. It was so much fun. 
Lexi and I trained pretty hard for a 5k.  I was training for an AR too so I would run 3 or 4 miles with Dave and we would run with Lexi too.  For a while she was doing 1 mile at a time, then working up to 1 and a half miles and then 2 and finally 2 and half miles.  No matter where we would run in town, when we turned off of Main onto our street, she would pick up the pace steadily until she was sprinting with Dave.  I couldn't keep up with her.  (Sigh) I know in my head my 10 year old is faster than me.  But watching her beat me every time is a little hard:)  Oh well.
So on race day, we ran our hearts out.  Well, until mile 2 anyway.  Lexi doesn't have the endurance to do 3 miles.  (Not many kids do.)  I know that.  So at mile two, I pulled jelly beans out of my pocket and slipped them to her.  Just one at a time.  It helps to keep her mind busy so her feet can keep moving.  Well we got to where we thought we were done, but we had to go 2 more blocks to go!  So we turned left and kept running.  Lexi was really hitting the wall at this point.  Her feet were slapping, her arms were flailing and she was breathing like she was taking her last breath. I was holding her hand and literally pulling her along. Ann was being so helpful. She was like Lexi, let's just get to the finish and you can have a popsicle!  Lexi shouted, "No sugar!" (Ok, so you are like my sister, Tracy, when you exert yourself you can't handle the thought of sugar.  I didn't know this about you.)  So Ann starts backpedaling, ok how about some water. Do you want some yogurt?  I love my friend Ann;) So we turn last corner, to the right and all of sudden Lexi sees the finish line.  She lets go of me and says (in the perkiest little voice ever) "Bye Mom, see you at the finish!" 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

I had a dream...

Written by: Leisha
Dave and I have been talking a lot lately about navigating.  I keep saying that some people's brains just aren't set up to be good navigators. Dave wants me to practice navigating so that in a race, we can work on it together and not always rely just on him.  I get that.  I really do.  But it seems like the more I work on it with my directionally challenged brain, the harder it seems.  I'm not saying it can't get better with practice but I'm definately not there yet.  All that to say, I had a dream last night.

I was doing an adventure race without Dave (shocking in itself).  I was racing with my friend Amy Paustian (who just did her first race, The Thunder Rolls, with her husband), my sister Tracy and one other female who I couldn't quite place.  So it was the four of us and we started off the race biking.  We went a long way, like 12 miles, when we ran into some kind of a street fair and decide to stop for a Coke.  We knew we were in the right place because we saw some other teams. So as we are sitting there resting, my teammates look to me to tell them how to find the first checkpoint. This is where I realize that I am navigating! But it didn't feel weird in the dream, just normal.  So I pull the maps out of my backpack and the first thing I realized was that I didn't laminate them.  (This cracks me up because this is usually the only time I actually touch the maps in an actual AR.  I'm the laminator.) We all decide that it isn't a big deal since the maps are printed on waterproof paper.  But then I look at the map and can't find any dots.  I had forgotten to mark the checkpoints!  What I great navigator I am. We can't even mark them on the fly because none of us brought the course outline booklet.  We realize the only thing we can do is go all the way back to the beginning and start over.  But here's the kicker, as we are leaving, we see a ton of teams just rolling in.  If we could have kept going, we could have been in first place!

Maybe this is why I don't navigate.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Saturday Training Ride

Written by Leisha
We went for a training ride last weekend.  We were planning on riding from our house to Sunderbruch park, ride the single-track, and then ride back.  It's about 12 miles from here to the park so that would be about a three hour excursion.
We decided not to get up at 0'darkthirty because I'm a little possessive of my Saturdays.  It's my only day to sleep in.  As it turned out, Dave got up at 0'darkthirty and ran 10 miles.  It is part of his training for the 50 miler he will do in the fall so he had to, right?  He wasn't quite sure it was a great idea when we got on the bikes and his legs were toast.  He drafted me all the way to the park:)

We wanted to get on the road at 8:00 so we could get down to the park around 8:45 and have 15 minutes to relax before we started the single track.  Well that was Dave's plan anyway but he didn't really articulate it to me so I had us leaving here at 8:15 instead.    I felt great on the way down there and was looking forward to seeing my friend Lori who was going to meet us there. 
 She loves single track so she was anxious to meet us there to practice.  I was looking forward to getting to practice the single track but I was dreading it at the same time.  Since I'm not very good at it, I figured I would just go slow and steady and it would be fine. 
About 10 minutes after we started, I hit a big root.  My tire went one way and my body went the other way.  I flew through the air and hit the ground face first.  The first thing that flashed through my brain was that I  hit my face and I would be all bloody and have to go to the hospital and would scarred forever.  So I said, "Oh my gosh, I hit my face."  What Dave says happened was that I partially sat up and said something about my face and then laid back down on the ground in the mud.  He still laughs to this day when I bring it up.  I don't see what is so funny.  Here's what happened to my eye.

The bruising eventually spread around my eye.

My sunglasses gave me a black eye.  I guess all the dirt on my face was just dirt.  Not all the abrasions I imagined in my brain.  The first thing Dave said to me was, "That dirt in your mouth is bothering me.  Are you going to get it out or should I?"  Well excuse me!

After I sat up, and I will say that Lori sounded very concerned about me, Dave said, "Oh wow, can I take a picture of that?"  Darn blogger anyway.

So after I got myself back together, I was able to continue on the ride.  When I landed, I felt something go in my neck and knew it would hurt later on.  But I wanted to continue, so we did.  We kept riding and I kept falling over and we rode about 5 miles, all in all.

Dave and Lori rode over this bridge but I chickened out.

I think Dave was wanting me to ask Lori for a ride back to Walcott but I thought we could make it back home.  So home we went. 
That night, my neck started to hurt a little bit.  By the next day, which happened to be Mother's Day, I was hurting pretty bad.  By Monday, when I could finally be adjusted, I could barely move my neck.  Turns out I had given myself whiplash by landing on my face.  I told Dave I needed to learn how to tuck and roll since I have now landed on my face twice.  (The other time is a story for another day.) But now, a week and three adjustments later, I am feeling pretty good.  Finally.  That was pretty bad.