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"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

HART Training Camp: Lake Houston Reloaded

getting ready for campTo say the least, I'm starting the year off a bit slow. A week ago, on Wednesday, I got all of my wisdom teeth pulled so that put a little pause in training again. I skipped training on Thursday because Dr. Warren heavily stressed that she didn't want me working out...she actually didn't want me working out even through the weekend! But of course I ignored her partially and went for an hour bike ride on Friday. The only bad thing that happened was that I was a little weak all weekend long since I could only really have a liquid diet after the extractions. I definitely felt lethargic during my Friday night bike ride and again during camp.

leaning on the warship's shoulderWe showed up Saturday morning for camp. It was a good showing, about 21 or so souls. It would have been more if there wasn't that little short run called the Houston Marathon going on the next day. Yes, I skipped the marathon this year since I didn't want to start the year off with an injury again. Anyway, we started off with a ~13mi bike ride through the Lake Houston back trails. It was our Big Chill team along with this one girl who did an Ironman or two. She was pretty good, but put a twist and a turn in front of her and she was flying into the brush! But she was a good sport about it. Half way into the ride, Rick decides to stop and give a lesson in bushwhacking. So, he gives us a random bearing to follow and tells us to go about 200m out and then come back. It was right by a little pond, so he was no doubt just trying to get us wet...funny how he didn't go all the way with us! So we go out 200m and then come back and to make sure we get wet, he gives a mandatory "checkpoint", which consisted of a submerged tree in the pond. The water was stinky and cold, but nothing we haven't experienced before. We soon after got back onto our bikes and continued on.

HART biker gangFor the remaining section, he let us ride in our teams at our own pace. We led the way, of course with the Warship spearheading us. We got back to TA and transitioned into running gear. Little did we know, there would be little running in the next section. The next evolution consisted of a river trek up Peach Creek, to the bridge at 1485. Rule was that you could be 10ft from the water, for a max of 10sec. There was a lot of play in this rule, so teams interpreted it in many different ways. I saw a couple of teams that never set foot in the creek at all, while one or two teams were in the water almost for the entire time. Regardless, it was a long slog for those teams who traveled in the water. Upstream, it was sligtly aggravating my back again, but by the time we got to the bridge, waited for the other teams to get there and headed back downstream, it resolved itself. Once we got back, it was to TA again.

wading peach creek is fun!We now transitioned into navigation instruction. Rick went through all the basics and then gave us 5 checkpoints to plot and find within teams. They were the same CPs from the Texas Dare, so I didn't navigate and let the newbie and Nikki get us through this leg. We went for CP1, which I remember was in a creek, on a vine. They tried deadreckoning from the footbridge to the point, but apparently our line was a bit off. So I suggested we take a bearing straight west, to Peach Creek which was a pretty large catch, so that we can get a new bearing to the CP. On our way there, we run into the CP--too funny! So we were off to CP2, the famed "trumpet creeper" checkpoint. We pretty much did the same thing we did during the race, except this time it was daylight. This was the first time ever that I actually saw the CP as I ran into it during our pacecount from the trail. It was a pretty scraggly trumpet creeper, so I could understand how we missed it on our first attempt.

thanks to bobby and tommy, its safe to passWe took a lot of time on the first CP, so on our way to CP3 when we saw Rick, he told us to get that one and then head back, which was fine with me since it was no real fun just retracing the Dare race. We came up to the bridge and then they headed north on the creek and found it and we were heading back in no time. By this time, it was about the 6+ hr mark of the camp. The final evolution was to "try" and paddle sevys up or down Peach Creek. I say try because it was very shallow! When we got down there and started paddling, we were brushing the bottom of the creek for almost the entire time. That's when I said we need to just call it a day because I didn't want us to punch a hole in one of the sevys and have Rick bitch about it. So that was it for our day. We closed up shop and headed back into town. It was a good camp with good camp weather conditions--cold, rainy, and wet.

Warship and SR-71I spent the rest of the weekend getting the house more in order and washing my muddy gear. Around this time, an arctic front was supposed to be coming into town, giving us chance of ice, sleet, and possibly snow. Everyone was freaking out, cancelling school, etc...I just laughed. I actually contemplated not driving to work because I was scared of all the other people out there who didn't know how to drive in those conditions. The best example of this was at 4am in the morning when I was driving to the 24hr Fitness close to work for a spin class, the roads were wet from drizzle. Everyone was going about 50. I have seen so much worse than this! Then at Eldridge there was an actual accident blocking the freeway--thankfully that's the exit I had to get off anyway! The hype was just like the chaos of evacuating during Hurricane Rita...man, take a pill and think rationally. I'm still chuckling inside. Unfortunately I had to miss HART practice during this "severe" weather because a Gonzaga rep came into town and I had to meet up with her. Even she couldn't believe the insanity--she was stuck behind "sand" trucks that took up the whole freeway, being escorted by Houston police! If that happened up in Spokane, no one would ever get anywhere during winter! Too funny.

Anyway, ranting aside, nothing else much to blog about. HART training tonight and then we're heading off to Bastrop this weekend for some Big Chill training. That's it.

PS, congrats to all the HART members who did the Houston half and full marathons! It was tons of fun following your little colored dots on my computer screen Sunday morning while I sipped on my mocha...


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