Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Monday, January 23, 2006

This is What the Devil Does

The DeBooms and HART
Everyone thinks that I'm high and I am. The Thrill Kill Kult. Wow, it has been a while since I've heard this song...and still don't quite understand the lyrics...apparently the devil does drugs, or something like that. I think it is better that I don't understand the song.

Anyway, this has been a crazy week or so...I will try to recap, but I'm sure some fine tidbits will fall through the cracks...some intentionally. So the Friday before last, we went to the Tim and Nicole DeBoom meet and greet at Bike Barn. I met up with Deb and Ross right before at Salento (this is where my last blog left off) and then headed over to Bike Barn a few blocks away. We waited and waited and finally found out that they got lost. Someone commented that they obviously triathletes and not adventure racers...I thought that was funny. And, when they did show up, I had a hard time identifying who was Tim. He came in wearing fatigue cargo pants, print t-shirt, and a mesh baseball cap...I guess I didn't expect him to show up that "casual." Nicole, on the other hand, was easy to spot since she was wearing cool workout clothes. We waited for our turn in the line, bs-ed for a short while and took our pics with them. Deb, ever the networker, talked further with Nicole about her upcoming race: Adventure Race Girl Challenge. Hopefully Nicole can help out.

can you spot Lulu?
We were starving by then, so we went across the street to Azuma for some sushi. It was really good and the waitress was really funny and cute...that might have been the Asahi working on me. Anwyay, after eating and discussing Nick for seconds on end, we headed to Caroline's for her "Don't Be Alone on Friday the 13th" party. It was fun and we saw several people from her Birthday/Lulu Shower shindig. Lulu is so cute, as a puppy should be. We stayed for a short while, petting and chasing the puppy around, then we called it a day at about 10:30 or so--we had to train the next morning, of course.

Saturday morn, Cynthia, Michael Mey, Tracie, Michelle and I did the MS-150 training ride out in Katy. It was a cold, windy morning as usual, so we had bundled up considerably. We started out at a reasonable pace, first at 13, then 15, then held at about 17-18mph. All was fine and dandy and I thought I was in for an easy, long ride that morning. There were several riders who would come and pass us, but I let them go. This would be my test of patience. I failed. Michelle and I were riding along at about 18mph then I saw Cynthia, Tracie, and Michael's brother shoot by us. I said, "That's it!" I couldn't take it anymore and my competetive juices had boiled over. So Michelle and I jumped out of the slow train and bridged the gap to Cynthia and co. They were going about 22mph+, which I thought was a little odd since we still hadn't reached the halfway point and it was breezy out. But I joined their little game and started to pull at the same pace that they were going. But it was shortly lived. I think they had spent a lot of energy trying to chase down another paceline and that was it. We had to slow down and regroup. It wasn't too bad because we were close to the halfway point, the rest stop.

A few hundred meters out from the rest stop there was a constant uphill on smooth road, so I thought I would use it as an interval. I busted up it at about 23 or so then turned off the jets as we arrived at the gas station at Fulshear. There were several other groups there as this was a very popular stop for cyclists. We refueled on fluids and ate cookies and bananas and we were off on the return trip in about 10mins. But where was Michael through all this, you may ask? Well, his friend who had joined him was having mechanical problems and his bike would skip gears. So Michael, being the good samaritan and all, switched bikes with him. But he would go slower than the rest of us because of the gear limitation...at least that was his excuse. :) I think people were starting to pay for the fast pace early in the ride as our speed started to dwindle. Eventually, it was Cynthia and I heading in while the rest had to drop back, possibly to wait for Michael. And just like that, we had done 40miles. It was fun and that was a pretty good turnout for HART at this event.

I needed to get some hillwork in, so I was back on the bike on Sunday. This time, it was Weihan, Monty and Jackie. We headed down to Kemah/Clear Lake, the Bludworths' home turf. My goal was to get a warmup in, ride the Kemah bridge as a hill interval, circle around for a rest period, do the bridge again, and then cool down while heading back to the cars. It was a great day to ride--it started out cool, but the sun shone through and kept us at a good temp. We started by heading north on Bay Area Blvd, took a right at Red Bluff, right at 146, and over the bridge the first time. Man, as much as that was painful to power up, I'm really fearing Jester. We circled around and took Nasa 1 back to 146 and over the bridge again. The 2nd time around was a bit tougher as the wind had picked up off of the gulf. Everyone looked strong, especially Weihan who was I'm sure giggling at me as I slowly churned up the man-made hill. We headed back at a cool down pace and after it was all said and done we had completed a 35mi paperclip route. The Bludworths had an appointment with Mary Hodge in an hour or so, so we quickly grabbed something to eat at Pei Wei while Weihan went down to Kemah to get some fish...of course, he somehow got lost on the way, turning left on 146 and headed towards Baytown.

The next week was packed with training. I swam for about 30min during lunch and recovery biked about an hour on Monday, HART training on Tuesday and Thursday, swam for 30min and tempo biked for over 2hrs, and swam on Friday. The Friday swim session was in Raymund's wetsuit that I had borrowed. It was amazing how much a difference in buoyancy it made! Friday evening I met with a swim trainer at TriVantage. Pat LaRue...he seems like a really nice, laid back guy. They have a set of "endless pools" they use for training, which are pretty cool! He then verified that I definitely need to use a wetsuit for the My First Tri event--the water can still be pretty cold in April. So we set up a weekly schedule where he will meet with me once a week and then I practice the drills the other times during the week that I usually swim. I'm pretty excited now--I'm really hoping this is what gets me to where I can do the triathlon comfortably.

That same night, I met Deb and the rest of the crew at Azuma (yes, again) for sushi. It was sort of a "goobye dinner" for Deb since she is moving to Austin at the beginning of Feb. Nick, Will, Weihan, Melissa, and Tommy were there too. Ross had said he would come, but apparently had to party with some other friends of his. So we had sushi, some had more than others (i.e., Nick). Melissa, the smart one, decided to cut out early because we had the training camp the next day. But Nick and I figured the night was still young, so we headed over to the Gingerman for a nightcap. Weihan said "what the heck" and came with us. Oh, was this the right decision or what--as Nick and I argued over taking the stairs vs. the elevator at the parking garage, as we walk into the G-man, there was Ross...now that's navigation at its finest! We left him alone, kinda, and drank our beverages inside as he sat on the porch outside. It was too much just to stare at him through the window, so Nick went over to harrass him a bit. In the process he almost steps on what he thinks is a "purse." But in fact its a little puppy. So, Nick succeeds in making a scene even before getting to Ross.

All the while, we are talking on the phone with Tommy who feels slighted for not being invited to the G-man. Whatever--it was an open invitation to whoever was at dinner, so that was bs. So, long story short, Deb and Tommy join us eventually...I told them it would be worth their while. After Deb was brought up to speed, it was her turn to harass Ross. I guess in fear that the rest of us would go over there eventually, he comes over to our table briefly. Thank you Ross for blessing us with your presence...then he was gone! Without saying goodbye he was outta there! Oh well. No prob. Then I was talking to Tara over the phone to get her to come over and say hi to Deb, but she was too busy at her other location apparently. Then she started to taunt me and said that I would come over to the club she was at if "I were man enough". Again, that was it--I was going. She told me that she was at a place called Numbers. Never heard of it, but apparently all the native Houstonites have...man, it was like they were watching a horror flick that I was starring in and they were yelling at the screen, "don't go in there!!"

I had no idea what they were scared of, so I told them they could whimp out and I would go and meet Tara by myself. The guilt trip was all I needed as everyone agreed to head over there with me. Then we get a call from Ross saying that he was coming back to the G-man to meet us...so we had to insnare him as well. He didn't put up too much of a fight and we were off to Numbers. It was so long since the last time Weihan had been there (about 5yrs he says) that he took a wrong turn. He threatened to bail out since he was already heading in the direction of his house, but Nick and I said he wouldn't get a nickname if he didn't--if you haven't figured it out yet, Nick LOVES to give people nicknames. So that's all it took, he flipped a U and was heading our way. Once we entered the club, I knew what all the apprehension was about. It was sort of a "goth" club, but there was dancing so it wasn't so bad for me. And there was Tara, Kacey, Lisa, and Tina on the dancefloor. It was a ton o fun! At least it was for me. There were things that we saw there that I will not mention, but I will tell you this is where we heard the Thrill Kill Kult song...and Nick gave Weihan a nickname: The Warship. It was a hilarious night--there was even a contest between Tara and The Warship--I'll leave it up to you to figure it out.

That place seemed to screw with my sense of time, because it seemed to be 11pm the whole time I was there...at least that's what I told Nick whenever he asked. We eventually called it and headed out. Some of us were hungry, so Nick, Ross, and I headed over to Deb's for a late night snack of eggs and buttered bread. Mmmm, tasty. Then Nick was freaking out over Deb's cats, calling them "fuzzy toes"...was he on a contact high?!? I can't remember exactly what time we got home, but I knew it was late...I set my alarm clock for 6am, got under the covers, and then "beep!...beep!...beep!" Sonofab...It was back in the car to head to Double Lake. Thank goodness for Starbucks. I had agreed to help Rick out with the camp, so there was no way I was going to bail. I somehow got there and Deb and Ross were already there--they did not look happy at all.

So the training camp was pretty good--it lasted about 12hrs for most people. It started with the customary crawl through the dirt, dragging tires, carrying a 50lb pack and a medicine ball. Then we paddled the lake a couple of times. Did the bike trail, did a navigation clinic and a navigational hike and bike. Back to the lake for a couple laps in the sevys. A short nav section in the park. A bike to the Big Creek Scenic Area to the bike drop. Then we navigated our way back to Double Lake. The funniest part of this camp was when we hit the bike drop, we ran into a couple of people who claimed to be researching the existence of Big Foot in Texas. Unbelievable. They had a video camera, business cards, and everything. I would give you the weblink but I do not want to support this crap in any way shape or form...then again, just mentioning this crap on my blog will give it coverage. Oh well. The best was when the lady asked, "aren't you guys scared?!" I just sighed. It was a tough camp, but everyone had survived and did well...then Jamie tried to go home. He particularly had a good camp in my eyes. Then he said "thanks" to me and waved goodbye as he stepped out of the cabin. On his way to his car to leave, he slipped on the wet deck and broke his arm! Whatthefu...?!? He made it all through the camp and then that had to happen. I feel so bad for him--I hope he has a speedy recovery.

Right as the camp was ending, Deb walks by me and says, "I hate you." Apparently, she thinks its MY fault that she's tired because she had close to no sleep. Okay, so maybe it was. But just think of it as a 24hr camp. I definitely was tired at the end though. I probably shouldn't have had mexican food with them and then drive home--I was nodding the whole way. Thankfully, I made it home safe and sound.

Of course, that wasn't the end of my weekend--I still had the Rider Ready time trial to do with Weihan. It had rained a little at the camp, but it simply downpoured yesterday! I was driving to the site of the time trial thinking my time is going to be horrible if the weather keeps up this way. Plus, there was a headwind on the first leg going out. The weather was so bad that they had pushed our times back 1hr. When I met up with Weihan there, he confessed that he didn't get up to do the MS-150 training ride Saturday morning. I really didn't know how I would do in this TT, especially with the weather conditions, but I wanted to shoot for 22mph speed average. This was before I knew about the head wind. I went before Weihan and went over to the staging area. They counted me down from 25sec and in no time I was off. So I figured I would need to start off at about 23mph to assure my 22mph average...that was a mistake! The wind was coming straight at us and slowly my speed dropped. 20...19...18...17mph. I struggled to hold it at 17 and knew I would need to hammer hard on the way back to repair some of the damage. The turnaround seemed to never come...then finally there it was. The roads were slick, so I took it easy on the turn. Then I put the hammer down. I averaged about 25-26mph going back, hitting over 28mph max. Of course, the distance going out was longer than the distance coming back, so that was a huge disadvantage. Nevertheless, I kept hammering and ended up with a 21mph average. Oh well, it wasn't a real race, so I wasn't disappointed at all. But it did turn out to be a good workout with the wind! They were having problems with their timing system, so Weihan and I had no idea what our true times were, but we estimated that we both were at about 21mph. Even better, I was able to go home and take a nap!

So I think I have caught up on the past couple of weeks. As I said, I'm leaving some stuff out, but I don't have the time or the permission to go through those details. :) On a side note, the women of HART did the Dirty Dozen at Warda this past weekend. The team of Cynthia, Jaunda, Caroline, and Andrea got 3rd place while Tracie got 4th in the solo division. Way to go! I'm so proud of them! Oh yah, the Marathon was the weekend before...I'll try to talk about those results next blog if I can remember!


Blogger FreeThinker said...

Wow- what a weekend!

6:14 PM


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