April 19, 2008

Desert winds

Last year we decided to race the sprint distance at the Desert Tri and signed up at the last minute... it was in the string of four or five weekends of racing and we were going a bit crazy with the racing but the dynamic planning of packing for a weekend to head to the next race was just irresistible. Unfortunately, it left me injured but taught me a ton too. Like sticking to a plan and just doing some key race throughout the year. . . which brings us back again this year. As a key race we had planned to do the Olympic distance because we needed a longer road race to give us an indication of where we were at or how much we were going to suffer on our first Half Ironman at Boise. This would be Monique’s first Olympic distance and I did one in 2006 when I first started doing triathlons so I had a simple goal of trying to break two hours and Monique had a simple goal of surviving the swim. ;-) It was all about building confidence and experience toward long course racing for this stage in our training.

However, as we pondered on our drive out. . . it was a road race. R O A D?? That’s for cars. . . All that we thought about on the drive down was how we wanted to be in the dirt. Why are we driving so far to ride on the road?? Why are we killing a perfectly nice Saturday when we could be mountain biking in the green hills all around. Why did we sign up for these road things anyways… I guess it just showed us how much we really love being out in the woods and the wild and made our love for it grow just a little bit more. We were driving right by Hurkey Creek…We should have took our mt bikes with us!

That feeling only grew throughout the day. By the time we got to the race venue the wind was whipping this way and that like crazy. Waves in the water, dust in the air and no way you would be able to survive with a disc wheelset on the streets. Windy city.

This tent was another indication of "wind protection" so we staged our camp-out behind a tree and sideways picnic table. By the time we got back from Starbucks this tent was pushed to the road that you drive in on and our tent was all over the place...C R A P. Wind sucks. We ponder. . . Is this a good excuse to head back and get on a trail? Should we run a few laps at Hurkey Creek? Stick to the plan! We ended up scraping up our tent, dropping a couple hundred dollars on a hotel and listing to the wind aaaalll night long. All that I thought about was the waves and people getting tossed to curbs and across the streets... Imagine those pretty carbon frames shattering to pieces! Oh, no! Was I having a dream??? 2:30am I shot this outside our room.

I stayed up and thought about friends, prayed and planned out a way we could still get some trail time before the weekends end. Maybe just a wish away but I managed to stay up just until we left for our race at a little after 5:30am ...At best I was hoping to get in a rough open water swim practice and take off to Hurkey for a nice long trail run when they dropped the news to everyone that the race getting canceled. But it didnt roll out that way.

The funny thing about a plan I have noticed is that if you manage to stick to it, it somehow, manages to stick to you. Stick it out. As we drove to the race venue we were met by people with our same concerns and stories of the night wind but for some reason as the sun rose the wind fell. Clear day...glassy water. Time to stick to the plan and RACE!

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