Tuesday, September 22, 2009

VentureQuest Race Report

OK, the super short summary: we finished, we are all pretty much unscathed and we got first place in our category. We were the only team in our category, but hey, we did finish the long course so it was a hard-earned first place.

I don't eat enough, which is weird given that I could lose about 10-15 pounds, but evidently I chose to eat too little at the wrong times, like before a long day of running, biking and paddling. But, more on that in a bit.

The race was in Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax County. Nice park on the Occoquan Reservior (which, by the way does not allow swimming at all, and which one should not drink--even though it is a water supply--go figure).

The team was 2 Filly's (ProK and MyK) and a Nag (me). It was purported to be 28-35 miles of trekking, mountain biking and canoeing with some special test(s). It ended up being a shit ton of mountain biking (took us around 4 1/2 hours for around 18 miles of biking--don't smirk, mountain biking is much harder than road riding--, about 8-9 miles of trekking (running and bushwhacking) and probably 4-5 miles of canoeing. We did well on the trekking and canoeing parts. The part I usually like about adventure races is figuring out how to get to the check points, but this was not that kind of adventure race. At one point early on, we were in dead last place, but we did not end up there! Yeah!

The biking was following arrows, around and around and around for ever, which is a bike race, not an adventure race. ProK's tire got a flat about 1 mile from the end of the first bike segment, so she runs it in about as fast as we were riding. I bonked big time on the bike, huge bonk, bad bonk, whiney pants bonk. So, of course there was some fighting between MyK and I...enough said, we still like each other which is good. The first bike segment took 3 hours, I ran out of water and energy and was ready to throw my bike down one of the many ravines. But, I didn't and somehow we got to the end of that segment.

Then, we had to run to the next checkpoint by 1:30 pm or we would be dropped from the long course to the short course. We had 14 minutes. Thank god it was mostly downhill and ProK was pushing me (yes this was trekking) and we got to the checkpoint with 1 minute 30 seconds to spare. Did I mention this was supposed to be a fun race? After that, we were on target for the next several points which we reached via canoe and trekking. Then it was back to the bike, to finish. We fixed ProKs flat, but didn't put enough air in the tire, and it went flat about 1/2 back...so she runs the damn bike for another 2+ miles. We didn't have another spare tube. Never seen anything like it. We finally finished (9 hours+), tired and sore, and got our first place prizes--pint glasses!

Our reward was stopping at 5 Guys for bugers and fries. I am still sore. I don't think I'll do that race again, unless I do a whole lot more mountain biking ahead of time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


OK, not much to say about training, since I've taken the low road and told ProK that I am sooo burnt out on training that I need to do the absolute minimum to get to and through Longhorn 70.3. So, I am not doing much and it is soo nice! Spent a week in Duck with MyKaren and her sister and financee and her dad. The potential for funny stories with her dad was very high, but he more or less behaved so nothing on that front. It rained every day, with high winds and the beaches were closed for swimming due to the really, really angry sea, but it was relaxing and I got to read a lot. Good times.

This weekend is the VentureQuest adventure race in NoVa that I foolishly signed up for...with MyKaren and ProK as teammates. While they have both assured me that this will be a "fun" race, somehow I am worried. Obviously, they are both so much faster than I, I think I'll wear a shirt that says "anchor" since that is what I'm going to feel like. Silly me, I just had to sign us up and then recruit ProK. WTF? Yes, it was my idea. Yes, I am somewhat stupid.

The race is 28-35 miles long and includes mountain biking, trail running, and canoeing, which doesn't sound bad compared to 70.3 or 140.6...but off road is a whole different animal, and as I said earlier, I've been dragging on the training front. If I survive, I hope to have a race report on Monday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

O Canada! IM Canada 2010!

Ok, crazy train stopped last night, and I got back on the darn thing. I'm signed up for IM Canada in 2010, some 363 days off. WTF? It all happens so fast! SO, more torture to come. Yeah! Sad thing is that now that I know what I am doing next year, I am much happier. What has happened to me?