Sunday, June 10, 2007

Muddy with a Buddy

This morning Tina and I were up at the crack of dawn to drive to San Jose for the Muddy Buddy . According to the directions we were supposed to be there by 7 am, but let me tell you, there were people still coming in at 7:30 and 7:45. We got there VERY early.

Yet, not early enough to score a small t-shirt. One of the things that really pisses me off is when these event people don't plan out their resources appropriately. I mean c'mon people, you think I'm out here for my health?!?! I'm here for the goodies and I don't like being short changed. And why bother asking me when I register what size I want if you're not going to have enough?!?! Anyway, the shirts are MEN'S sizes and they ran out of small. So it looks like either I have another night shirt, or Jeff gets a free tech-t.

And while I'm ranting, let me just mention how male-centric this race was. As I already mentioned, the shirts were men's sizes, but even more disgustingly, the men's waves all went out first, then co-ed (because, hey, at least there's one man) and the women get to go last. Wouldn't it have made more sense to send out the waves by age? So the short story is that we arrived soooo early and then we were in the second to last wave. Ugh. Ah, so this is why Tina and I do so many female friendly events. At least we aren't relegated to the back of the pack there!

Aside from all that testosterone favoritism, the race itself was SOOOOO fun. Well, all except the first part. But let me explain the premise. So, 2 person teams. One person starts out mountain biking, the second person starts out running. There is an exchange point with an obstacle after which you switch activities. The person that was biking now runs and vice versa. Continue for roughly 7 miles, with 4 switch points and a GIANT mud pit at the end. Fun, no?

The worst part was the first segment which poor Tina had to bike up. "Running" up it was bad enough, but biking was horrific. Very uphill. Most people were pushing the bikes it was so bad. Finally it leveled off and we came to the first obstacle, a small rock climbing wall. After that, my first biking segment which was mostly downhill, which was a relief, but since I'm such a chicken, I was riding the brake the whole time. It would really freak me out to hit the bumps and have the back of the bike bounce up. Then a sort of beam a-frame that you had to climb up and under and over. Then I was back to running. Tina passed me pretty quickly on the bike and offered water but I was still chugging along okay at that point. Next we arrived at a big inflatable obstacle with a cargo net to climb on one side then down the slide on the other. It looked pretty steep from the top....wheeeeeeeeee. Back onto the bike for another fairly downhill ride to a balance beam. Great, not like my legs are jello-ish or anything. If you fell, you had to start over. Luckily there was no falling on our team. Finally, we meet up at the end and do our crawl through the mud filled pit. My knees got a little scraped up because there were sticks or little rocks or something in the mud. Sheesh, they really need to have clean dirt mud. :-)

Off to the hoses we went for a quite lengthy rinse. Wow, it takes a while to get all that mud off. Back to the expo to pick up a few free goodies and what do we find?!? They already did the raffle! Or at least already handed out tickets and we didn't get one. Man, the organization of this thing really stinks. Thanks for sending us out next to last and then giving away the goods while we're still getting ourselves put back together!

Overall they get high marks for fun-factor but they definitely failed in both the organizational department and in female-friendliness. I hope they ask for feedback because I'd really like to help them improve so it's better when we do it next year. Right, T? :-)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tri? Yep, we did!

It's official folks, not only are we marathoners but we're now triathletes! :-)

Tina and I completed our first mini-triathlon last weekend. We did the Mermaid Tri which consists of a 1/4 mile swim, an 11 mile bike ride, and a 2.5 mile run. Yep, we did the whole darn thing!

It all started on Saturday with packet pick up and then a quick shopping trip to Sports Basement. I needed some gear because evidently you swim in gear and then don't change but jump right on the bike. Well, after putting on your shoes of course. So I got quick drying gear that included a pair of padded shorts, a pair of padded pants (because the sale couldn't be passed up) and a quick drying tank. I was gonna get a short top, but there was a sausage effect that is better left undescribed.

At packet pickup the water temp was reported somewhere in the low 70's, so Saturday night as I was packing my bag with all my stuff I decided to pull out my shortie wet suit. I might not wear it but at least I'd have the option. Tina didn't have a choice and went sans wet suit. Turns out I am REALLY glad I took it. The water was pretty cold. So much so that Tina had trouble catching her breath in the water and had to back stroke a good portion of the swim because she couldn't breathe. I was pretty comfortable in the shortie once I started moving.

We went down to the water to get acclimatized prior to our start and entered the water way too soon. We were left standing around for a good 10 minutes before we were sent out. We waited until the end so we wouldn't be in the mad crush of people, but that didn't work out so well. We ended up catching up to the crush anyway and getting right in the mix. I lost sight of Tina and kept trying to look back to see if I could find her, but damn it's hard to find one person in a sea of pink swim caps! At one point I was treading water looking back and the young lifeguard asked me "Are you okay ma'am?" Ma'am! Ouch. I told him I was fine and continued on my way. I got to the beach and still didn't see Tina, so I stripped off my wet suit and hung out looking for her. She made it up to the beach and we sprinted off to the transition area. Let's just say she was a *little* ticked at having to backstroke. ;-)

In the transition we dropped our swim stuff, shoved our shoes and helmets on and were off on the 3-loop, 11 mile ride. We were cruising right along passing people left and right. Okay, so we were only passing people left..."Left!.....Left!....Left!" we shouted out over and over. There were people out there on all kinds of bikes, cruisers, mountain bikes and of course tons of road bikes, fancy and not so fancy (like mine). Tina is DEFINITELY the stronger biker of the two of us. I was just praying that I didn't get a flat. Tina was carrying extra tubes and a pump, but as the woman beside us in the transition area warned "You can't help her." Uh, hello competative lady, we're in the **for fun** division! Anyway, I needed to stay fairly close to Tina just in case I got a flat, so that kept me moving even though I was running out of steam.

Our 3 loops finished, we headed once again into the transition where we kicked out of our clips, hobbled on wobbly legs over to the bike rack, dumped our bikes, changed our shoes and headed out on the run. Yeah, you read that right. The ladies that can run for miles had wobbly legs. I can't believe how tough it was running after riding just 11 miles. Maybe it has something to do with not having been on my bike at all in over a year? Nah, that couldn't be it. Anyway, Tina pulled me through the run as I started getting stomach cramps. She fired my competitive spirit by pointing out a lady that we couldn't let beat us, we had to pass her. ;-) I think part of the reason the run was so tough was that I was really dehydrated. I'm not that steady on my bike (again, lack of practice?) and was afraid to reach down for my bottle too much. I only took one quick drink the whole way. Definitely need to learn how to handle that and force some fluids in.

Anyway, we out did our best estimates and finished in 1:33. I told Tina "Just think if you had been able to breathe how much better we'd do!" Well, we'll soon get to find out! We signed up for another one on June 16th, and this time darn it, we're getting that girl a wet suit! Stay tuned for the next adventure of superladies T and K.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Hangin' with my favorite girls



I spent Memorial Day weekend with my brother, sister-in-law and 2 nieces in Illinois. Spencer is 3-1/2 and Parker is a little more than 2 months. It was a fantastic weekend. The girls are soooo cute.

Parker, being just a little one, isn't too active but she sure is cuddly. She's got blue eyes and dark hair. Spencer is hell on wheels and is a blue eyed-blondie. Their little faces are quite similar and I told my brother that there's no mistaking these two are sisters. Spence is a good big sister and kisses and hugs Parker. It's really cute. Let's see if that attitude continues when Parker starts being able to grab Spencer's stuff. ;-)

We had one good thunderstorm, which I appreciated since we don't get those out here in California. It did put the kibosh on outside playtime tho. We took Spencer to see Shrek 3, which was just okay. She got fidgety about 3/4 of the way through, and I couldn't blame her. I was getting fidgety too. She plopped down on my lap for the rest of the movie and then we headed out for some shopping. We each got a new book, although as I started reading mine I realized I had read it before. Sigh. That's what I get for tearing through my books with a voracious appetite. I forget what I have and haven't read sometimes.

The visit went by quickly and I can't wait to get back to see the sweeties again....oh and of course spend some time visiting with my brother and sister-in-law. It's okay, I think they're getting used to coming in second place to the girls. :-) Of course, I had to get home to catch up on my rest. I was exhausted from chasing Spencer around after only 3 days. I don't know how they do it every day, but they do. And they do an awesome job of it.