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"

Friday, December 22, 2006

Chief of Staph, Get Your Party On

great turnout at HART party!So its been about 2 weeks since our glorious performance at the Texas Dare, and what kind of training have I been performing since? NONE! Man, am I ready for this year to be over. I just can't seem to stay healthy! So that little piddly cold I thought I was getting the day before the Dare, it wasn't a cold. It was a staph infection! I knew it was going to be trouble when I started developing painful bumps that eventually filled with pus and were, in general, very nasty. I went to the doctor and loved it when he was taken aback as soon as I removed my bandages. He's like, "yep, that's a staph infection! we need to treat that right away!" Nice. Thankfully, I treated it early, before it got really big, because it was on my neck. My doctor didn't want to even drain it himself because of fear of giving me an accidental tracheotomy. It did drain by itself and eventually the infection cleared up thanks to some really strong antibiotics. So, basically, the week after the Dare I did absolutely nothing.

thanks Matt for the wonderful cold beverages!Good thing was that Caroline's party was up the next weekend, so that cheered me up some. It was a really good turnout and she prepared her traditional cajun creations that were very yummy! Apparently I had dropped the ball because I didn't bring lumpia like I did last year. Well, we had just eaten the last batch a few days before and I really didn't think anyone would remember them. Oh well, at least I know I need to make some for next year's party. As I had expected, Rick made it to the party, but he says not officially since he didn't cross the threshold of the house--he just stood out on the driveway. Mo was not amused as he ditched our party after he was the one who had suggested it. Last time we do that...actually, maybe not since we still have to get rid of a TON of beverages! Another unfortunate development at the party was that no one got tattoos and no one threatened to stab Ross that night. Surprisingly, Mo and I were one of the last ones at the party this time around.

sadly, Ali would not keep the dinosaur hornThis past week has been productive, training-wise. I say training-wise, because holiday-wise we have been kicking arse! Anyway, Tuesday, we had HART training and I was feeling the effects of the layoff. It was an all-on-the-bike day and we did the fruit loop about a million times. Then of course came the eventual sprint to the finish. I would have left earlier but I was thinking, engaging in a sprint after a whole week of being sedentary is a foolproof recipe for injury. I think I had enough of those for one year. But still, I decided to do a little sprint once it got started, but I turned it off as soon as we got to the turn since it was wet out and it was getting a bit crowded. Thursday was supposed to be a mock race, but the skies opened up again and drenched the trails, so Rick had to modify the course. The navigation part was removed, so I automatically shut down race mode--it would practically be like any other training day. I raced with the Warship and Jackie. We did well, being the first coed team to finish, behind the 3 solos, Tommy, Monty, and Ali, in that order. I was covered in mud because of my position in the paceline, but it didn't matter much.

all, behold the pink lantern!In between training sessions, we had our annual HART Christmas Party on Wednesday. The turnout was amazing! People were on time for once--by the time we got there, there were at least 20 people or so there! As usual we had the white elephant gift exchange and our gift got stolen twice, first a sweet pink lantern (by Ms. Vera) and then a mug with a $20 coupon at Mission Burritos (by Ms. Tara)...grrr, yes I remember. I ended up with a MS-150 bag that Eric had randomly stuffed with an assortment of goodies. It was really fun and it was good to see everyone before we all dispersed for the holidays.

step 1:rub head; step 2: Have a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!Today I plan to go swimming and possibly go for a quick run after work. We still have a ton to do before we head off to Spokane, so I know I won't have time for a long training session. I'm starting to get excited to head back home--there's snow in the forecast and Mo will be with me. It'll be nice to just relax and enjoy family and friends! So that's it for now--since my last blog was marathon length, I will spare you and give you a 5k this time. I should have some time to blog while up in the Northwest, but don't hold me to that! Until then, have a wonderful, safe holiday season! Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hammer Nutrition Unable to Hold off MOAT Machine, Finishes a Close 2nd

the HART VanAnother race weekend--so quick! This was an important one, though--it was the first qualifier of the season for the 07 USARA Championship in Missouri. Our team, HART/Hammer Nutrition was ready for this race. I seemed to be coming down with something, but a little piddly cold wasn't going to stop me now. Saturday morning came and I peeled myself out of bed while lucky ol Mo got to sleep in--lucky because the Texas Dare was a "no support" race, meaning she wouldn't be able to help. And I couldn't blame her not wanting to get up and just stand around in the cold temps while we ran around, getting lost in the park. As I left Houston, temps were in the lower 40s...not bad. When I got to Lake Houston, temps were around 30deg...COLD! This was shaping up to be just like last year. MOAT would be here to defend their Texas Dare title...difference was I was lucky to race with Jackie and the Warship as Jason and Lisa decided to ressurect the Roughriders with Michael Collins. Competition would be tight...behind MOAT, that is.

chillin prerace, (c) Lori HazelwoodWe tried as much as possible to stay warm before race start, layering up in triplicate. Again, about 15min before race start, Rick brought us together for a QandA session--no usual "pre race meeting." After that we had a very nice speech and prayer from Pastor Jerry Hovater of Camp Holy Wild. He was a really nice person with a great perspective on us adventure racers, saying that he couldn't tell us to be safe since our sport is inherently unsafe, a series of calculated risks. But he blessed us crazy people anyway. A few minutes after that, Rick handed out our passports, rules of travel, coordinates, then finally our maps. I rushed over to our TA, hoping to get some of the plotting knocked out, but we were only able to plot TA before the race started. Well, at least we knew where we started from...

Jackie, sans Flying CircusWith no fanfare at all, we started on the first leg, which was a trail run around the main park grounds. We knew not to bust it out at the beginning, so we just nestled ourselves midpack. We started chuckling as we saw Tom in first place on the first leg. I knew we were not as fast as the other teams on foot, so I made sure we kept the pace constant and something that would be bareable for the entire race. I even had to tell the Warship to "take it easy." After a couple miles, we were back to TA, onto a marked bike course--the same course for the hike n bike leg for the sprint race. Again, no problems. We just kept a smooth pace with the help of the Warship. We just tucked in behind him and we motored as a team. In no time, back at TA again. This would be our first navigation leg, on foot. So we started plotting. Other teams decided to plot the first few points and then head out, but as usual I wanted to plot all points now and get them out of the way. Yes, its a lot of standing around for Weihan, but that's how I do it. 20pts plotted and we were off. The 1st 2 CPs could be visited in any order, so we decided to go for CP2 first since it seemed to be the easier of the two and I wanted to get the navigation off to a good start. We trudged along and traveled south on the main private road through the park, most of the time we were pacing with TooCoolRacing. On our way there, we saw MOAT and the Roughriders heading the other way. CP2 was right there on the powerline easement.

Rick doling out rules, (c) Lori HazelwoodWe headed back up north to CP1 and I had all that time to decide whether to take the easy, albeit long route along the private road and 1485, or back past TA and do a little bushwhacking along Peach Creek. I made my decision at the last second, at the fork in the road--we would bushwhack. We started off nicely and I was keeping an eye on my compass. But somehow I strayed from my compass AND forgot that Peach Creek was full of water. I kept following what I would later realize was a fork in Peach Creek. Thankfully, I finally caught it and started just going straight up north, to get to 1485. It was rough travel, but we eventually got back on track. We lost considerable time and we knew this because we had gapped TooCoolRacing by a few minutes and they ended up getting to CP1 right before us. Unbelieveable. I was determined to find a faster way back and eventually found a dirt road on the west side of Peach Creek. It was definite smooth travel, so hopefully we would be able to make time up. Along the way, we ran by a deer feeder, so we all made sure to duck and run in zigzag pattern if we heard gunshots. Nice. After a few minutes, with a deep sigh, we made it back to the main parking lot and ran back to TA. It was a faster route as we were able to get there a few minutes before TooCoolRacing. Man, would this too be like last year--we were battling all day long with TooCoolRacing and finally ripped 2nd place away from them late. We would see.

who needs bike shoes?Quick transition and we were back on our bikes for two CPs. I had a good idea where both of these would be, so I just told Warship to mash. CP3 was in a gully by the east fork--no prob. On our way there, we saw Roughriders, so I knew we weren't too far behind. At that point I thought we were in 3rd place behind 1st place MOAT and 2nd place Roughriders...I would be later surprised that this wasn't the case. CP4 took a little longer, close to the east fork again, a bit south of a pond. We did a little bushwhacking but Jackie found it lickity split. Unfortunately a sprint team was just behind us when we turned off to get this point and had mistakenly ignored the signage and followed us instead. I felt bad, but the sign was up and I didn't realize that they followed us until it was too late. Oh well, they figured it out eventually. Back to TA. Next was the nav to the zip line. I felt good, we were doing very well. CP5 was in the middle of the woods and we would need to rely only on pacecounting for this one as it wasn't close to any landmarks on the map. At around 900m we stopped and went into the woods. That's when we heard Turnbull. He was racing solo and from what we could tell he was doing a great job navigating. Heck, he was a few meters away from one of the tougher CPs in the race. We whacked about 100m west and there it was. Nice. Now it was a bit more bushwhacking to CP6, which was the zipline. No problem here either--we eventually popped out on the peach creek trail and followed it south to the marked creek crossing. After negotiating the log+rope crossing apparatus, we went over to Camp Holy Wild for the ropes. We had our choice of either the wall climb or zip line. Since there was no waiting line on either, we decided to do the zip line since that should be the faster option. I went first with Turnbull. The initial drop was not as bad as the one at Lake Travis, but it still gave me a little heart in throat feeling. Woohoo! Fun! In no time, we were outta there. Tom was long gone and we slowly and methodically made our way back to TA along the peach creek trail.

After another quick transition, we were on our bikes again, this time over to the paddle put in. As we were motoring on the dirt road, approaching and passing CP5, we saw a whole gaggle of teams looking for the CP...and one team in particular caught my eye: MOAT! OMG! I had to do a triple take and I sped up to Jackie to ask her if she saw the same thing I did! They told us later that they had some navigational errors on that leg and the previous bike leg, so they were at that point over an hour and a half behind first place! Wow! And I didn't get overly excited as I knew they had the ability to wipe that deficit away in no time, which we later found out would be fact. We kept mashing south until we reached Lake Isabel. CP7 was on a creek that fed that lake, a little bit south of the lake. We got it in no time. After a couple more minutes on the bike, we were at the boat put in, CP8, in 2nd place! I was really happy at this point, but of course I knew we still needed to work to keep our podium place. The Roughriders were just a few minutes ahead of us and had a similar aluminum canoe as we did, so I was very interested to see how we would do against them. Of course, they are all rails, so they had the definite (lack of) weight advantage, or, like I like to say, power-to-weight ratio advantage. CP9 was a bit south of the put in, on a bank. As we paddled along and I tried to make sense of the ma and the water level, we saw the Rough Riders, going all over the place--they were apparently having trouble relating the map to the actual terrain. Because of this, we were able to catch up. But unfortunately, on our way to CPs 10 and 11, their power-to-weight ratios proved to be better than ours. We took a shorter course back north, as did the Roughriders. They slowly pulled away, out of sight. We saw them again as we pulled up on CP10, which was on the bank, on a pipeline easement. They pulled away again. This would be a long paddle as we would have to paddle up the east fork, a bit past 1485. One thing that disturbed us was that on the map, on the way to CP11, there was no water--the creek was marked by dry bed. Nice. Travel was nice and uneventful at first, but as we got closer to the white, barren, rock-marked area of the map, the creek got tighter and shallower. In no time, there were sweepers, sandbars, and strainers impeding our progress. It was definitely getting on my nerves, especially with the water being so cold. I finally started screaming expletives. I was officially in perturbed mode. We continually asked each other if we thought if either Rick or Monty had even paddled up this way to check the travel. But through all this, the Warship was calm. Obviously, all his paddling experience had prepared him for this day. He told us to get out, drag the boat, and he even went for a swim to rescue our canoe! He was now the most valuable member on our team! He never, from what I could tell, stopped paddling or steering the boat...and you could tell when he stopped as it felt like all the sudden we were laden with several hundred pounds of lead shot.

my seat smells gooood!I can go on in detail about our trials and tribulations on this creek, but I will leave that one up to Jackie, who has rumored to have a novel in the making. Anyway, after what seemed to be an eternity, right after Weihan's swim, where we saw the Roughriders finally heading back the other way, we reached the bridge at 1485. Thank the lord. As we approached, there we saw Tracie, Rick, Boyd,....and Turnbull! We had seen him on his way to CP9 and it sounded like he was having trouble keeping my green Cobra Eliminator upright. So apparently he had turned in the towel shortly after that...and I understand his decision. With that cold water and the type of navigating he would have to do on the upper reaches of the east fork, I couldn't blame him. I'm actually surprised we didn't tip our boat even once. With CP11 in hand, we had to ride those currents back down the east fork and hope that they didn't run us into trouble. And then, that's when my heart sunk--we saw MOAT crushing up that creek in their racing canoe. It would just be a matter of time when they caught up to us. Regardless, we kept paddling, with encouraging comments from other teams still heading to CP11--they kept saying we were only a few minutes out of 1st place. Well, at least we could say we were in front of MOAT for a palpable amount of time.

We finally made it back to the bike drop and MOAT had by that time passed us and we were able to see them off before they left on their bikes back to TA. As soon as I took off my PFD, I was freezing! I kept shivering and I tried to put on a jacket that I had stashed in a dry bag, but the zipper would not engage, so I ended up not using it as we were wasting valuable time. So I bucked up and we kept going. I almost shook myself off of my bike, but I survived. We made it back to TA and that's when we took some time to get out of our wet clothes and get into something warmer, especially since we would be going on another bike leg, a marked course similar to the sprint course. By the time we mounted, no one else had made it back from the boats--we were still solidly in 3rd. The bike course was uneventful as we just had to follow signs and punch an orienteering flag along the way. We finished that leg and still no one was back from the boat--I was feeling even better about our chances. Then there was the Roughriders just ahead of us. We quickly transitioned out of the bikes...but then there was Weihan. Apparently he was going so fast that his shoes had melted and fused themselves to his feet. Actually, he had those fancy shoes that you have to click to get it tighter and I guess all that sand had worked its way in and wouldn't let the locks release. I told him I would buy him some velcro-only shoes. We finally had to pry the shoes off of him. Where's a shoe horn when you need one! CP12 was a few meters north of the hike-n-bike trail. More bushwhacking. With some slow, methodical pacing, we had caught back up with the Roughriders. But again they were out of there. No worries--we had gotten this far racing our own race, so we would keep it that way.

i see an iron chef hiding in the backgroundI backtracked to the hike-n-bike trail and followed it east towards CP13. The Roughriders tried to deadreckon from CP12, but they eventually popped out onto the trail we were using. We were even again. The trail started to turn south, so that's where I continued to pace, bushwhack 100-150m east to a supposed trumpet creeper. From my schooling at the Nature 101 classes provided by the Houston Arboretum, I knew a trumpet creeper was a type of vine, but that's all I could remember. At about 100m we started searching, and so did the Roughriders. We couldn't find it...it was in the middle of nothing, nothing in terms of definite land features, which makes it similar to an easter egg hunt. And believe me, at night, in that dense of a forest, it was an easter egg hunt. We were all executing our random search patterns when all of the sudden the Roughriders got together and then seemed to slip out into the darkness. They found the point?!?! Damnit! I had raced with Lisa, Tom, and Jason, so I knew how the Roughriders operate--they like to mislead other teams in several ways, and one of them is to walk away from a found CP and then suddenly disperse. I was positive that they had just punked us. I was kicking myself because I also usually imbed an operative near another team when it turns out to be an easter egg hunt like this one, just in case they find it before us...not this time. Oh well. Time was ticking and we still hadn't found it. So we decided to go back to our known point and do the pacecount again. Same thing, different team there looking for the CP with us--this time it was the all male team that seemed to shadow us the whole way. So we searched and searched again, until Weihan yells, "I think you're too far." Then Jackie chimes in, something about pacecount. Although we hadn't discussed this fully before, I knew what they meant. They had found the CP. So I rushed back to them and led them back to the trail. I was so happy that we had finally found this one--it was probably the hardest CP of the race. So we backtracked on the hike-n-bike trail back to TA. We kind of figured the Roughriders were well on their way on the bike leg, so it would be a matter of keeping 3rd now.

Since Weihan's shoes had malfunctioned, he would have to do this final bike leg in his normal running shoes. This worried me because this would potentially compromise our machine--he had pretty much pulled us through all the bike legs. Nevertheless, we continued on like nothing happened and we took the all to familiar dirt road south. Then we took a left on pipeline easement, which was hell on the bike. It was clear, but the surface was hella bumpy. This is where I knew Weihan was a monster--even though he didn't have his bike shoes on, he was gapping us on the bike! WTF?!? What is Apple feeding this beast?! Along the way we saw MOAT on their way back, making me think we weren't too far back from them...and, where are the Roughriders?! Did they somehow bust past MOAT and were now way ahead of us both?! Didn't know and didn't care at the time--I just wanted to be done with the hellish ride down the pipeline. CPs 14 and 15 were cake--right where I had plotted them. It was now back where we came and then all the way north on the dirt road up to 1485. As the clue said, "too easy." CP16 was right there on the fence. Now it was back to TA and the final leg of the race. When we got back to TA and didn't see the Roughriders and didn't see their bikes there, we knew something had happenened and we were now back in 2nd behind MOAT! Now it was down to 4 trekking points and we would be finished. It was a relatively short trek, so I just loaded up on fluids at TA and then left my pack there. We took the peach creek trail down to CP17, which seemed to be a couple hundred meters after the trail intersection with the hike-n-bike course. After reaching the first bridge, we headed north up the creek and there was the point. CP18 was west of the campsite along the trail, just north of the powerline easement. On the way, we saw MOAT on their way back. When we got the campsite, I told Jackie and Weihan we should start looking. Then Weihan decides to tell us that he saw something. Guess what, it was CP18. Thanks for letting us know, Weihan! LOL. CP19 was at the intersection of the powerline easement and a creek. Again, as we got within a few meters of the CP, Weihan spots it out of nowhere--eagle eye! We were now impressed! CP20 was the last point of the race. We decided to use the creek crossing for the zip line to get to CP20, which was close to the park entrance. When we crossed through Camp Holy Wild, they were having some kind of party...and nice, warm looking fire. I so wished that was me! I shook my head and refocused: CP20. Yet again, just as I say we should start looking for the CP, Weihan spots it. Eagle Eye, thanks for making navigating so easy!

warmin up by the fire, (c) Lori HazelwoodWith that, we were on our final stretch to the finish. We were so happy to be done. And we were happier when we crossed the finish line, confirming that we captured 2nd place! What's even better, we were only 25mins behind the eventual winners, MOAT. This was such a great race for us--we had minimal snafus, great team chemistry and we didn't destroy each other. Yes, runner up to MOAT again at the Dare...getting closer, though!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Texas Dare 12hr AR Suunto T6 Log

*foot pod not used due to race restrictions

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Like Taking a Medal from a 17yr Old

ooohhh!So, lets see. What has happened in Kenny's AR world in the past couple of weeks. HART training has been constant. And so has swimming. I just got the Suunto Smart Belt, but what I can't understand is why they would sell it separate from the docking station. Basically, the smart belt removes the need for a wristtop computer since it can store all data in its own memory for later download onto a computer. So, if you buy the smart belt, you pretty much need to buy the docking station to even look at your HR data. Otherwise, you have bought an expensive HR belt for no reason. These are some of the inconsistencies and lack of attention to detail that drive me nuts. So, in short, I called Moosejaw to clear this up and I ended up ordering a docking station that Suunto should be sending me any day now. What a pain. Turkey day morning I went on my citywide ride, except this time it was restricted to the Memorial/Heights area. Starbucks-Sandman-Allen-Roy-Blossom-Crestwood-Memorial-Picnic Loop(10x)-Memorial-Crestwood-Blossom-Roy-Allen-Patterson-Kolb-Bonner-dead end-Kolb-Patterson-Cornish-Sheperd-10th-Studewood-Merril-Michaux-Bayland-Beauchamp-Pecore-Tabor-Melwood-Walton. I discovered some new potential routes this time, as well as some pretty sketchy dead ends. Good times.

purty lights!Later that day we went over to the HyperTurtle abode for Turkey Day festivities. The HyperTurtles themselves did a Turkey Trot over at Uptown Park and ran into Andrea and Ross. Ross had nothing to do, so he came over for dinner and drinks as well. Again, we had a great time at their place. I got a chance to meet their dogs this time around. A husky and a german shepherd. The GS reminded me of my childhood dog, Lady. She was very loyal and I was very sad to see her go--she was falling apart due to old age and rather than have me watch her waste away, my Dad had given her to a home that could take care of her in her twilight years. I remember only having to shake her chain leash and she knew it was time for a walk around the block--after a while I didn't even need the leash--she would just run beside me, never straying. Digressing? Yes. After dinner and watching Nacho Libre, we went to Uptown Park for the Xmas lights lighting ceremony and fireworks. It was really nice--it was a great suggestion by Mo! We came, we saw the fireworks, we left.

the crewSaturday was another HART training session at Lake Houston. This time we basically did the sprint course. Trail run, trail bike, trail run to ropes, hike n bike. Afterwards I headed over to Southwest Paddlesports to pick up the 2nd solo Eliminator. Since I was already out that way, I decided to go on a paddle at Lake Woodlands. It was a nice day for a paddle and I went for a quick hour paddle. It was nice, but my butt was hurting again from the seat--I definitely need to switch it out for softer padding! The following week was the usual T-Th HART training and lunch swims. I did a track interval workout on Wednesday. I haven't done one of those in a long time--it kicked my ass! But I was able to keep the pace even the whole time, which is the right way to do those intervals...at least that's what they tell me.

Saturday, I decided to practice my nav skills at the Team Texas Sprint Orienteering Meet. As usual, it was me and a couple other old geezers competing against high school kids. Of course, I taunted them and played keep away with their compasses...until I found out that they changed my age grouping to Advanced Males 17+, not 21+!! Man, that meant I had to compete directly with some of these little ankle biters! Crap. What's worse is that it was a sprint O, so endurance would play little. I was excited to hear, though, that the format was a bit different this time. They had made it a Prologue + Chase format, similar to the Tour de France (except, no bikes, duh). So, everyone would leave at 1min intervals, navigating to an intermediate finish. Then the 1st place racer would start the 2nd leg first, with the others leaving at intervals equal to their deficit to the leader. Exciting--you had to chase the leader! What made it even more fun was that Jackie showed up last minute to check out the festivities. She decided to go ahead and race in the beginner cat--it was her first orienteering meet.

So the race started and I was in the 10th wave. The kids around me were joking around the whole time, asking me questions about my footpod, my fuel belt, etc. Then there was this kid who was behind me--the way everyone was talking to him, I knew he was one of their top speedsters. I could tell he was sizing me up. Nice, I was going to get shown up by a cocky 17 year old. Oh well...he's just lucky this isn't a 3+hr sprint! In no time, I was up on deck and the countdown began. The whistle blew and I shot out of there at sub-6min pace, only because I knew for sure where the 1st point was. 2nd pt, no prob. 3rd point, a bit of a prob. I sprinted over there and got to the point, but it didn't quite match with the map. Hmmmm...then I wondered if there was more than one course. Then I realized what I had forgotten to do at the previous 2 pts--check the CP code on the flag! I did and I realized that I was at the wrong CP. I wasted way too much time on that one, especially in a race as short as this one. I moved on with no probs--CPs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Then CP 8 looked to be up a boardwalk. As I ran up it, I heard a shout "don't go up there." I knew immediately what they meant and I got off the boardwalk and continued to follow it on the ground. I was trying really hard not to mess up now because that cocky 17 yr old had already caught up to me at CP6. Got CP 8 then headed to CP9, the hardest one of the whole entire course. That's when I saw the 17yr old again--he had went the wrong way. But he still caught up to me again on my way to CP9. We punched it simultaneously, then it was on to a bit of bushwhacking to get back to the trails. His tiny emaciated body had no problem negotiating the briar patch--it took me a bit longer to get out of there. Then I got turned around again at CP10, letting a guy I had passed pass me. It was now an all out sprint to the last CP of the prologue and the intermediate finish. The guy was fast, so I could only keep him from pulling away--I couldn't close the gap. CP11 was on the only "hill" in the park and then it was downhill to the finishing chute. I was 21st, but that wasn't taking account the time gaps from the start.

After all the calcs, I ended up 9th in the prologue, behind cocky boy and a good woman navigator! I was a little disheartened, but I understood that this meet favored the really fast as it required novice level navigating. My only hope that the endurance factor would kick in during the chase and I would be able to pick off some people before the end. As I waited by the finish chute to see Jackie come in, cocky boy comes over and asks, "what happened?! you let me pass you!" Oh, someone wants a spanking. I couldn't say anything except some lame excuse like, "I can't run." Oh man, I'll be looking for you at the next, longer meet, buddy! So the chase started at about 10:30 and I was about 4-5mins behind the leader. Barring a complete meltdown by everyone in front of me, there was no way I could make that up on a 4k course. Nevertheless, I vowed to leave it on the field. Countdown and I was off...but somehow I got turned around again! Geez, not a good start at all! Thankfully, the guy who started in front of me was lost too and had squandered a whole 30secs before heading in the right direction. We were neck and neck, but he was determined to dust me. I let him go, keeping my steady pace for now. CP1 was easy--we had past it on the way to CP9. We pretty much stayed status quo through CPs 2-5, then another lanky guy sprinted by me. WTF?! It was ok, because the guy just in front of me looked like he was fatigueing. Then I made a not so optimum route selection, which took about 10 more secs to get to CP6. Oh well. The grassy field to and from CP7 was getting to me and was draining my energy. Thankfully it was pretty clear from that point on. CP8, I caught up to another guy and passed him. CP9 was a bit of a pain because it was by a swamp and travel was less than ideal. Got mixed up at CP10, again because of another CP being in close proximity. Regardless, I passed another guy on the way to CP11. The last 2 points would be all out sprints on open field, so I turned up the speed. This is where I blew off the doors of that kid who tried to dust me earlier and then I passed the top woman navigator. After CP13 I sprinted to the finish chute even though I had no chance of catching anyone. I got my card and it looked like I finished 7th in the Advanced 17+ cat. Nice. I've always podiumed at these events...

suck itAt the intermediate finish, Jackie had noticed that my footpod was missing. Crap. So, as soon as Jackie had finished, I went back to the section where I had to bushwhack to look for the footpod. I slowly traced my path, looking at the broken twigs and branches, and I miraculously found it! I should be a tracker! LOL. I drove back to see if Jackie was still there and the awards ceremony had just started. I got there in time to hear Jackie get called for 1st place in her div! Woohoo! Then I stayed for the Advanced category to see if I even made the top 5. They called out 5th, and it wasn't my name. So, I was ready to pack it in when suddenly I hear my name called for 3rd place! It was hilarious! It was so quiet we heard the crickets chirp! Jackie just laughed as even when I made my way up, no one clapped. That's right, I crushed one high schoolers dream of getting a medal and he probably cried himself to sleep that night. LOL. I'm so proud of myself!

Sunday, our Texas Dare team went back up to Lake Houston for some training, primarily to get some time in the boat. We did an 5mi trail run, 16mi bike, and a 4mi paddle. We couldn't figure out a location to put in where we wouldn't have to portage 99% of the time, so we just decided to drive back down to Kingwood and launch from the West Fork. Of course, Jackie decides to bring half of her paddle and half of Monty's paddle, both of which won't mate. Funny how that's the exact same thing Lisa did when she came to paddle with me. Do people not want to paddle with me?!? Too funny. Anyway, we just paddled with the two paddles and switched out periodically, both paddles and position. I think this will be our best bet since if one of us decides to stop paddle (i.e., me while navigating), we will still have forward propulsion from 2 other paddlers. Now its the final week before the Dare and we're pretty much set. It should be a fun course--I can't wait for it to start! Most likely going to go for an easy ride tonight, in the cold to simulate most likely weather conditions during the race, and then an easy swim tomorrow. That's it until race day. Bring it!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Team Texas Prologue+Chase Sprint O Suunto T6 Log

*speed log stopped due to loss of Foot Pod (recovered after race)
**erratic HR data towards end due to HR belt slippage