Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tahoe Weekend

Been a while since the last post, but to be honest not much has been going on.  Shoulder has been gradually improving and I have been able to build up my swimming and get back to full bike and run training.  That means nose to the grindstone and yeah I get to race again.  I was a bit worried that the shoulder wouldn't be good enough to do the Trans Tahoe Relay as planned, but it came around just in time!! And just for fun I decided to make it a super double weekend by entering the Tahoe Trail 100 MTB race the next day.  Why not!! I flew out to San Francisco on Thursday afternoon and hooked up with the 'Little Fish' before driving up to Tahoe.  Friday was a bit of a frustrating day trying to pre-ride the mountain bike course WITHOUT the course map, but the gorgeous weather and scenery made getting continuously lost bearable.  And hey, ignorance is sometimes bliss when it comes to these enduro courses.  Better not to know how much pain and suffering is headed your way.  We got about 1/3 of the way through before giving up and heading home, leaving the rest of the course as a surprise for Sunday ;)

Saturday... Now in it's 36th year, the relay swim across Lake Tahoe from Sandy Harbor to Skylandia, is put on by the Olympic Club of San Francisco and this year attracted 182 teams of 6 swimmers.  My sister had recruited me for this fun event to be the ringer and while I'm not sure I was quite up for that title, it didn't stop them from making me the leadout!! Unlike triathlon, there are no wetsuits allowed in open water swimming regardless of water temperature, so thankfully the water and weather cooperated and no one froze to death. The logistics of this race were also unlike any other race I have ever done.  As the leadout I started on the beach with my 5 teammates waiting about 1500 yds offshore in the boat.  Sounds pretty easy, swim out to the boat, continue swimming across the lake, NOT.  Trying to find your boat from the water in the middle of a flotilla of almost 200 boats in 60deg water is a nightmare!! Fortunately, we found each other surprisingly quickly and got safely on our way, unlike several teams who after 45mins (swimmers swap out each 30mins to start) still couldn't locate their swimmer.

Sandy Harbor
Race Morning

The rest of the morning was spent blissfully puttering across the lake.  The relay worked as 30mins each, followed by 15mins each, then 10mins each until finished.  Team Aquaholics put in a solid middle of the field effort, which included having lots of fun, to finish just under 5hrs, yeah Team!!  Pretty awesome way to spend a Saturday morning!!  

Chillin in the middle of the 4mile long Boat Conga Line!!
Team Aquaholics
Sunday... Another 4:30am wake-up ugh!! Race start was 7am at NorthStar so up bright and early it was.  Joining in this adventure were fellow T-Towners, Bryce Phinney, Ryan Hammerel and Dan Distefano along with SF Bryce Ritzel.  Sister decided to sit this one out!!! (more brain cells I think)  The race field was only a little over 400 so we all got off to a nice mellow start, rolling on the pavement up to the village then climbing the dirt road to Mid-Station to start the first of two laps.  This is where things got dusty, really dusty.  For the first 45mins all I could see through the clouds of dirt was the faint shadow of the rider in front of me, hoping dearly that he was riding a good line.  There wasn't even a chance of actually seeing the ground and what you were about to run over, or into.  Yeah for full-suspension!! Thankfully things cleared out mid-way through the lap and made the 2nd lap quite enjoyable, if you find 7,444 vertical feet of climbing enjoyable.  Yep, ignorance was bliss.  The goal was not to put myself completely in the hurt locker, couldn't afford to take a week off to recover, so I rode strong and steady and the legs were awesome.  Wasn't sure how they were going to handle 5+ hours on the MTB and elevation and was super happy with were my fitness turned out to be.  The Queen of Pain herself, Rebecca Rusch, took us all to school, but 2nd through 5th were all within 10 minutes of each other.  Happy with 5th overall and 2nd in my age group and a little nervous about taking the spot to Leadville, though I decided to defer to 2013 so plenty of time to figure that monster out!!!

Dirty, Happy, Finished!!
Next up, yep my 2012 triathlon season is actually getting underway and hopefully I remember how to do it.  Xterra Mexico August 4th here I come!!!

2 comments:

Ryan Hammerel said...

Great job Christine and good luck in Mexico! Thanks for the hospitality at the condo.

Ryan

J Wilkerson said...

Good luck in Mexico. It great to see you've healed and you back to Xterra. The tour has missed you!