Saturday, August 8, 2009

The good, the bad, and the... well, you know

I've spent the last 2 weeks sleeping. That's it, just sleeping. Why? Well, I competed in a little adventure race and since I ran about 10 miles, biked 30 and kayaked 10, I was a little tired.

Seriously, I am surprised at how long it has taken me to recover. I was a zombie the week after, but surprisingly not too sore. Which is a change from last year, when I was sore all over; this year, when i had trained less and was a few pounds heavier... not bad. Can someone please explain that to me?

So, how did the actual race go? As you might have guessed from the title, it was a mix of different emotions.

The Good:
1. Seeing/Meeting adventure racing friends: what I love most about AR are the people. I have never met such an amazing group of warm and encouraging people in my life. The team from Utah who were running their first race; the organizers of the race (who I just adore!); my friends the Gypsy Chix, who rock as an all-girl team; the young and fast Ryan who beat everyone but did it with a big smile on his face. Just a cool group of people.

2. Kayaking: My 1st goal was to be much faster in the kayaking section (I was SLOWW last year and so last place it was embarrassing). This year, I rented an amazing sea kayak (the section was all on lake) and whizzed by everyone!

3. Overall time: My 2nd goal was to have a better time than last year. Despite some penalties (I'll explain more in the "bad" section) I was 2 hours faster than last year. Not bad.

The Bad:
1. Penalties: I missed a lot of the checkpoints during the Bike-O (basically orienteering on a bike). It wasn't because I didn't know where they were, it was more about how I suck on the bike. I missed 3 of them, which had :30 minute penalties for each one missed.

2. Sick: I, once again, had problems with feeling sick through the entire race. I run low on potassium normally, but get me out there racing and it really affects me. I took lots of electrolyte pills, which helped some, but I still struggled. I don't know how to resolve this one.

3. Weather: I didn't get to do the final leg, the Mountain biking section, due to weather. You would think I would be happy about that, right? I wasn't. It kind of sucked and I got 2 more penalties due to missing those 2 checkpoints. *&$%# weather.

The Ugly:
1. My mountain biking skills... enough said.

Despite meeting my two goals of a faster overall time and kayaking time, I still was disappointed. I had emailed a friend and told him about the race and his observation was interesting:

What I found missing from your experience below is that last year you wrote about the beauty around you, which I took to be presence in the moment. Perhaps this year you took less time to "smell the proverbial roses"? And it became more of a foot race?

He said it all with that one comment. I seemed to have lost my perspective and kept thinking about how slow I was, how I couldn't keep up, etc. It made it a not-so-fun experience.

Despite that, I still enjoyed the weekend. The big finale was dinner at an old friends house, a friend I haven't seen since college. It was great to get caught up and see how her life has turned out (very happily!)

So, what am I going to do next? I think I'm going to spend time on my running. I have been so caught up in getting better on my bike that I haven't been running and honestly, I love to run. It just clears my head like nothing else. I might even try to run a 1/2 marathon in November... we'll see.

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