Friday, October 7, 2011

Storm the Eastern Shore, The End

I apologize in advance if this post makes even less sense than usual. After literally years with not even a sneeze, I find myself at home in a benadryl-induced haze trying to fight off something grody that is attempting to take over my person.

After the boys stared at the map for a bit and we shuffled around for about a mile trying to figure out exactly where we were we found our first point. And then the second, third and fourth in about 45 minutes. The points were almost right on top of each other -- two were less than 30 yards apart.

So, instead of just going for the mandatory four points we ended up with seven. Hooray! The sun worked its way up, our headlamps went back in our packs and after less than two hours (I think) we were rolling out of transition on our bikes for a few more points over 20 miles. And also a few more mosquito bites. At one point I was standing still to pay a toll we had to go through on our bikes and I was instantaneously covered in mosquitoes. Delicious.

We rode in a pace line most of the way and were moving along quick enough (for us) as we worked our way to the put-in for the final kayak, about 8 k down the Chesapeake. Didn't sound too bad.

We didn't waste too much time in transition and were off.

And then I got hit in the back of the head with Bill's paddle.

"Oh, sorry! I was just looking at the maps!" he said.

A few yards later I was clunked in the back of the head again. And then again. I turned, careful not to throw the boat out of balance.

Bill was sound asleep but still paddling the air.

Great. After a few failed attempts to keep him awake I realized I would be mostly paddling for two. I was pretty tired myself and made B.J. keep me engaged in conversation to keep me awake.

And then we saw sharks swimming toward us -- three fins popping above the water. Except I soon realized that the fins, fortunately, belonged to dolphins that swam right up to us, curious toward a bunch of smelly people in kayaks in their space.

How amazing -- probably the coolest thing that I've ever experienced during a race (aside from a few awesome hallucinations I had at my first 24-hour). Our new friends woke Bill up a bit and we continued down the bay.

The take-out came into view and we all started to pick up the pace, motivated by the finish line. We beached our boats and started to figure out the best way to rig them in order to complete the half-mile portage to the finish.

And then, a miracle! The dude from the team that stole back their portage wheels rolled up in a car and handed us a set of wheels!

We pushed and pulled our way to the finish (the portage was uphill, of course) and tadaa! All done!

The results still aren't posted but I am guessing we finished toward the middle.

I loved, loved this race. So fun, well-organized, the course took advantage of what the terrain had to offer and amazingly friendly volunteers. The fact that I felt physically strong for most of the race and only had one near-meltdown when I was stuck in  the swamp didn't hurt either.

And now I am bored. I want to get out there again immediately. Well, not immediately, as I am currently still in my pjs after 14 hours of sleep with more meds and tea pumping through me than is allowed by law. But soon.


Kate said...

Sleep paddling. Hilarious.


Julie said...

You scared me with the "sharks"!
Love the new header!

Abby said...

I leave town for five days and the world falls apart - you're never sick!

Also, have I told you that I've taken to wearing my bike helmet in the boat, after Bruce's paddle clocked me from behind one too many times?