Bad news: About half-way into the 5-hour drive to the race site we realized we were in for a long weekend.
Good news: We like to run so we did well with the opening 3-mile trail run.
Bad news: We like to run and most of the race was biking and paddling.
Good news: The next leg was a 11-mile sprint on a flat gravel path on our mountain bikes.
Bad news: An 11-mile sprint on mountain bikes on a flat gravel path is sort of boring.
Good news: The river was raging. We would have been washed away forever had the race directors had us paddle the original course. Fortunately they recognized that this would have been unsafe.
Bad news: The paddle was changed to a lake. It felt like 20 miles, was probably more like five and took us hours. Plus it was freezing. Plus we were in duckies. If you don't know what a duckie is, imagine trying to paddle a moonbounce. Pretty much the same thing.
|Paddle this. Not so fun.|
|Or paddle this.|
Good news: The paddle eventually ended.
Bad news: When I stood up to get out of the duckie my freezing, cramped legs immediately tipped me over. I couldn't get up. We had to carry the stupid thing, along with all of our gear and paddles, up a short but steep hill. Bill: Just stand up and carry it. Me: Yeah, I understand what I am supposed to be doing right now but my legs won't let me. Bill: You just have to carry the front half. Me: Yes, I get the concept, I just can't do it. He eventually just carried everything while I staggered up the hill behind him. Badass.
Bad news: I was shivering uncontrollably by the time we made it back to transition to hop back on our bikes. And I had a swarm of bugs hovering over my head. And I smelled like the dirty life jacket that I had on for the paddle. I was a little bit sad at that point.
Good news: I ate a Snickers and started to feel less sad. And after just a mile or two on the bikes we hit a monster climb on a fire road. I got warm quickly. Hoorah.
Good news: The climb wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was able to ride most of it and even passed some boys pushing their bikes. They complimented me for staying on the bike and also on my sweet Cat In The Hat bike jersey. I sort of rule a little bit.
Bad news: I am kidding about sort of ruling a little bit. At one point I was riding so slowly that I actually tipped over.
Good news: The last little bit of that ride was so fun. Single-track, a field and then, at the very end, a sharp drop down a wide grassy hill. Wheee.
Bad news: There doesn't always have to be bad news.
Good news: Bill was spot on for navigation the whole day. Including a nasty, thorny bushwack to the first foot checkpoint.
Bad news: We were running out of time and decided we wouldn't be able to make it back to the finish line by the 10-hour cutoff so we didn't clear the course.
Good news: All the foot checkpoints were optional so it wasn't the end of the world that we skipped two points .
Bad news: We skipped two points.
Good news: Bill made me carry a map and pay attention to navigation throughout the day. I learned a little bit, including what a re-entrant is!
Bad news: But I still don't know what a saddle is.
Good news: The last bike was mostly fun, mostly downhill, mostly ridable and mostly muddy.
Bad news: I walked at a few points where I should have ridden. And I didn't even attempt to ride the last downhill -- a crazy steep, crazy tight, crazy technical piece of junk that Bill bombed down.
Good news: Neither Bill nor I got any real booboos.
Bad news: In the last mile of the race I took a thorn branch to the lip while riding around a corner. Thorns are out to kill me.
Good news: We won our division.
Bad news: Our division had a whopping three teams in it. And I think that one of the teams dropped out early on. Not exactly a fierce competition. I think we finished about half-way back in the field of about 40 teams.
Good news: I won a new helmet-mounted bike light. Fantastic, considering that mine crapped out at the Rev3. And Bill snagged a fleece, also fantastic because he forgot warm things to wear and we were half-camping for the weekend (we stayed in a yurt).
More good news: A shoutout to Team Goals who finished third in the elite category.
What I am doing right this second: Bill and I got up bright and early to head home from the race. His college's graduation was today and he had his cap and gown packed in with his gear. We ended up not having enough time to drop me off at home so I am hanging out in his office. I've been in here for three hours and so far they are only up to the grads whose last names start with "P."