Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today is the best day...we, as a nation, are getting new leadership and that makes me very happy. In many ways, I am terribly lucky to have been able to witness some extremely important events. Some of the events are not so great, but I have high hopes for today.

Enough of the politics.

I found out what it is like to try to work out in a freezer this past weekend. I do not recommend it. MyKaren, BlakeE and I all traveled down to Pulaski County, Virginia, to participate in a "sprint" adventure race on Saturday. I was freaking out the whole week, as the projected temperatures got colder and colder. The race was supposed to last 6 hours and include paddling, mountain biking and trekking. I had already informed my team that I was not going to do the paddle, knowing that if anyone fell in, they would be dead, with the temps in the single digits. As it turned out, the paddling was canceled anyway (whew!) due to the cold and the fact that the lake was frozen and no one could launch a canoe. We went anyway.

The race started at 7 am, and the official temperature was -3. Yup, that's negative 3. Colder than my freezer. The race would have been ok if we had started out running, not that running in sub-zero is good, but it is better than trying to bike in it. I had tried to use neoprine booties, but could not get them on, becauase of my stupid feet with their high insteps. I got some toe "warmers" and hoped for the best. They did not work as planned, and my right foot in particular was on its way to some serious frostbite. I had also gotten some baklivas for our heads and faces, but trying to breath through the little mesh mouth hole was impossible and we ended up pushing the mouth below our chins. MyKaren and I had on skiing mittens and our ski goggles, both were good choices. The first check point was about 10 miles or so away, and we ended up not making there, as one of us was going hyperthermic and we had to get back to the transition before they got into more serious trouble. I was glad, as my right toes were on their way to frostbite land, and it would not have been a good thing for me to have been out there much longer.

As it turned out, I cried when they thawed. It felt like they were being burned and stabbed at the same time. We got everyone thawed and warmer, and set out for the trekking part, which went much better. We got both trekking checkpoints with some warming breaks in between the two points, and then set out for some orienteering points, and some good old bushwhacking! The run/trek was actually fun, but still hard. We got 4 points in all, and ran/walked for about 5 hours, so it was not a complete bust.

To give some perspective, 16 teams signed up and showed up for the sprint race. 2 teams did not start race morning. 4 other teams (inlcuding us) bailed on the bike. There was also a 30-hour race, to my knowledge, they all started. Those people are the crazy ones.