Oh, kids. I finally have a race report. It seems like forever, but at least I got one race in this month...
We did the Timber City Adventure Race again this year. I do it with my brother, who, with his fancy race canoe and his great skills gives us a HUGE advantage.
This year, I made gigantic mistakes that cost me a lot on my run. Of course, I still had a blast and that's really all that matters.
I came into the race having had a bad migraine and taking two courses of my meds the day before. I also couldn't sleep the night before. I'm not sure why. It could have been nerves or just leftover issues with the migraine. Who knows? Anyway, I started Saturday morning with that not so fresh feeling because of the lack of sleep.
I had posted something on Facebook about the race and one of our teammates decided to bring his son and do it. How great is that? His son is only 7 years old and he did the whole race. Plus, he is such a great kid who entertained himself and had a great attitude and was a real sweetheart.
Since we had a racing canoe, we had to wait until the last heat to put in. During our wait, John helped all of the people get their canoes in the river. I told him that I thought he was a great guy, and he said, "Hey! I got to play in the mud. I was happy."
While John was helping the canoers get into the water, we were talking to another racing canoe team. They were really nice and we were telling each other about different races we thought the other might like. Another reason I love racing - I get to meet interesting people and hear about other cool experiences.
The water in the river was nice and high - which means fast. Normally, my brother and I go out on the river the night before to get me working on my form and rpm's, since this is the only time I canoe all year, but with my migraine the day before, I couldn't do that. So, I went into it with no practice whatsoever. Sounds like a great plan, huh?
I am so very lucky that my brother is a canoe racer. I get the advantage of someone else paying for my speed with his boat and all I have to do is paddle. My brother reads the river, yells, Hut!" every time I'm supposed to change sides to paddle and reminds me of different things wrong with my form.
The biggest problem I had this year was a lack of fuel and hydration. I thought I had mastered that with races, but it's been a while since I've raced a 2.5 hour race and for some reason, I forget this shite over and over again. I had a muffin for breakfast and a couple of things of Gu and a bottle of water with some kind of electrolyte fizzy stuff my brother put in it.
I was not set up to be able to drink my water without stopping paddling. So, I didn't drink hardly any water. The paddle was a little over an hour and it was starting to heat-up. I should have known something was wrong when I started to get exhausted by the end of the canoe.
We pulled out of the river and I had made another mistake. I thought I was being brilliant by taking my sandals off before getting out of the canoe, since my sandals got so stuck in the mud the last year. So, this year THAT was no problem, what I didn't take into account was that the hill we ran up to get to our bikes was all gravel. Boy howdee! did that feel good running on in my bare feet. Sigh.
I finally ate my first Gu and took a big swig of water before getting on the bike. At first we get to go up a 20% grade hill, and I had nothing after the canoe and the rocky hill run, so I just went slow and steady up if and after a few miles, I started feeling better. In fact, I felt pretty damn good for most of the bike ride portion. I passed tons of people. Granted, some of those people were riding mountain bikes, but I passed people riding TT bikes as well...And most importantly, no one passed me.
John had been the best support we could have asked for during the whole race. Helping other canoes into the water, setting up our bikes and everything we would need in the first transition, and driving behind us on the bikes to make sure if we flatted, he could replace our wheels in a jiffy. By the time I got to the run, I had nuthin'. I was exhausted, dehydrated and had very little fuel. In other words, I was an idiot. I ran probably the first mile and a half like the walking dead. I ate about a half a Gu and had two cups of water at one point, but I was seriously bonking and that was WAY too little too late.
John magically appeared on the road when I had about 8 blocks left. I told him I was dying and he said, "That's okay. You're almost there. You have about 7 blocks to go. You can do it." He knows I like to know exactly how much suffering I have l left in a race. Seven blocks? That didn't sound too bad. I had been taking turns walking and running and feeling like I was going to pass out for a while by that point and John just stayed on the sidewalk, close by me until the last turn-off where I had a half a block left. Who knows what I would have done without him.
|From the look of things, I was as happy as a five year old for our win.|
Anyway, I finished with much help and support from my partner in crime and playing outside and my brother. We ended up getting 1st place in the mixed race division and we celebrated with Mexican food in air conditioning. Yea us!