Me and Kahuna Dave just before race startWow! What a wild eight days!!! Quick recap. I left last Saturday AM with Canyon and my Scalpel and tri bike and gear for 3 entirely different types of races. Yeah. Pretty much almost every piece of gear I own ended up in the car! I raced the mountain bike expert level women’s race at five mile pass in Lehi and placed 4th. After the finish Canyon and I headed to Sunny St. George and spent the night at Pop-Pop and Grandmas. Sunday morning I went for a run, said good-bye to a very happy kid (who wouldn’t want to hang out with the grand parents for an entire week!?!) and headed to Sunset Station in Henderson, NV.
Last blog posted pics from day one. Tuesday through Friday were filled with more driving than I would normally do in two months. The good part is it was through some of the most beautiful desert terrain I’ve seen in a very long time. There was extra rain this winter and we hit it perfectly. Thousands of flowers in bloom greeted us anywhere we set our eyes. This picture doesn’t do it justice. My dinosaur digital camera (yes I spend all of my money on racing and my son, not updating electronics) unfortunately didn’t catch the blooms). Ironically, I loved the off-road driving. I drove stuff (loved it) that I never would have dared even be a passenger, let alone drive one week ago. I loved the trials course, sand dune rallying, and amazing scenery in general I experienced. One disappointing thing, luck of the draw, is my teammate doesn’t exactly have the competitor and adventurous spirit it takes to do this sort of thing. The running and biking events (typically my forte’s) were done at a snails pace with lots of complaints about me going way to fast despite going so slow, I was about to go crazy. I did my best however to put my happy face on as I knew everyone at the event knows what I am capable of and there is lot more to it than just going fast (my little heart was definitely hurt a few times though watching everyone I am typically competitive with fly by and out of sight).
The other hard thing was we would make a plan and then in the moment, my teammate wouldn’t do what the plan was. I wish I was a mind reader, but I’m not, and those events always turned into me getting yelled at by him for ‘messing it up!?!?!’ The other thing that didn’t help was him telling me everyday he didn’t really want to be there. I was frustrated as I had worked hard to get there, was going for a week without pay, left my son, etc. and was really excited to give it everything as I always do. For me, this was a week of patience and letting go and focusing on the things that were positive. Trust me, there were many.
First Campsite in desert how cool is several dozen Land Rovers, 50 Mountain Hardware tents, Men Weilding Fire (amazing chefs who also do the food at Xterra Nationals–these guys remembered me because they let me sit in their mobile kitchen for an hour before snowy Nationals last year to warm up–purple lips before a race=not good sign–they saved me!!!), beautiful desert background. Perfect!!!
This was our second campsite. Cathedral State Park outside of a tiny town, Caliente. We had some funny times here and thank goodness there was running water at this one. We had a major thunder and then rain storm at the moment we showed up. Our running race was at this time. After the race, we were plastered in mud (clay) and chilled to the bone and sooo thankful for running water for hot showers—yes were were spoiled in every way! The next night we camped here as well. While we were out on our day’s adventures, a desert tornado raged through (we called them dust devils growing up) and ripped our tents out of the ground and sent them rolling through the desert. The poor rangers at the park spent the afternoon chasing all of them down and putting them back as best as they could. When we returned, it was like finding a needle in a hay stack to figure out who’s was who’s! I laughed so much this trip!!
Despite my team situation, I will still name this one of the very best weeks I have ever had!!! I met so many incredible people, got to know the other amazing athletes well (they are some of the coolest people ever!!!!). The Land Rover driving instructors were sooooo awesome, of course Team Unlimited was fantastic as always (which is why I do so many of their events–I just can’t get enough of them!!!!) The film crews, journalists, photographers, etc, etc, etc, were hands down the coolest people in their industries.
So even though I ended in a an eighth place position when it was all said and done (disappointing for me), I am the luckiest girl in the world to have spent a week as I did. I hope I get invited back next year.
So my next funny thing was, I left the party Friday night about 11:30, drove 2 hours to St. George, did a load of wash and got my road triathlon stuff ready, went to bed at 2:30 AM, set my alarm for 4:30, alarm went off for an hour, woke up at 5:30 when I was supposed to be at the St. George tri, freaked out for about 30 seconds, got into GO mode and was out of my house in less than five minutes and on my way to the race!!! I picked up my race packet, set up my transition site, wiggled into my wetsuit and jumped into a very rough lake in time for go (uh, who needs warm-ups!?!?) Wow!
I went on to swim the toughest swim leg I have ever done. The winds were howling and it made the swells churn (over 4 feet) us as though we were in the washing machine. The average swim time was about 10 minutes slower than would have been normal (the sprint distance had their swim canceled and only did a bike and run). I came out of the water dizzy and slightly sea sick. Regardless, as per my usual, I spent the remainder of the race playing catch up. By the end of the bike I had battled wicked winds into a 10th place overall position and then in the run (I love this desert trail run–mostly because everyone else hates it because it is very tough and windy, and in lots of deep sand–I happen to run in this stuff very well!!!!) I made up even more time. Despite having the fastest female run split and one of the fastest bikes, I still fell a little bit short and settled for a 4th place overall female finish (out of about 100!) in the Olympic distance on less than 10 hours of sleep in almost a week!!
It wasn’t over yet as I still had to get back to Vegas for my closing T.V. interview. Canyon wanted to stay work with Pop-Pop and so I showered, unloaded my tri gear at my parent’s house and drove back to Vegas. Again. I didn’t dare eat as my stomach was still churning, but I didn’t really have time anyway. I got back in plenty of time for my interview, chilled at the pool with some of the athletes for a while and crashed out hard (almost 12 hours at the hotel!). This morning I woke up and drove back to St. George for a little mommy and Canyon time before we head back to the good ol’ 801!!!
So a crazy week? Perhaps, but I loved it inside and out!!! I am so high right now. Adventure and racing and adversary help me grow. These are the times I find out what I’m made of. The outdoors and sunny days fill my soul. The people I spent my week with were so positive (with very few exceptions). We fed on each other’s energy so much that every person left with distinct glow. How can I be so lucky? Can’t wait for more!