Friday, August 29, 2008

Highs and Lows

The past two weeks have been semi-uneventful, but I'm sure this will somehow become a long post. Weekdays have been staying pretty consistent, Mon - evening run and JCC swims, Tues - JT's Cabrillo ride and run, Wed - lazy mornings and JCC evening, Thurs - Dale's masters workout, Fri - Cove swims (still my favorite).

Last Saturday I was supposed to go on a bike ride from LA to Oceanside - take the train up and ride back. Somehow, in my 5am groggyness, I confused the travel time to Oceanside with Solana Beach. As I arrived to the train station and was purchasing my ticket...the train pulled away! Argh! What now?? I decided to drive back down to Del Mar and hit up the usual TCSD ride at 8am. Well, we made it to Oceanside (hmm this is familiar) and I wanted to go for a longer ride (since I was planning on doing 75 miles that day). Bob - looking like a super badass biker - said he was going 80, and everyone else was turning back for 40. Hmm, ok Bob, this is my first time going over 40 miles, and I really want to do this, but I have some obvious concerns. i.e I've never done this! Bob - great guy p.s. - ok, it'll be an adventure, and we'll be sure to pace ourselves. An adventure it was. We got on base at Camp Pendelton and from then on it was glorious. Very little stop lights, traffic, and annoying runners (the usual on the PCH) was just Bob and I and the beauty that is Southern California. After the base we went 11 miles further north to San Clemente where we stopped for a B&B break (bathroom and banana). On our way out I fell while clipped into my bike. Great, way to really look like an amateur. I still have a bruise to show for my sudden lack of grace. Back on the bike, and back down to Del Mar. Surprisingly I was feeling great. In Oceanside (hmm familiar?) we randomly bumped into Stephen who was looking for the train station! He actually made the train and was back to his starting point. Lovely I'm at 63 miles, only 17 more. Back on the PCH I was feeling ok. It was getting a little windy and I began feeling a little sore. Yet thoughts are still happy. Around mile 74.9 breakdown point commenced. Hip flexers not feeling so great. Morale is slipping. 5 more miles. I think I looked at my clock every quarter mile. Stopping, no fun. Must keep spinning, spinning, spinning, what do we do? we spin, spin. A little Dori ended up sneaking in. Oh jeepers! A hill! Made it up, with one final hard push, and the Starbucks was in sight. Now, for most that would mean a nice iced coffee after a long ride, but for me it was the end. The end of my first 81.4 mile bike ride. Just under 5 hours. Averaged 16.4 mph including slowdowns. Over twice the distance of my longest ride prior. My college friends have been calling my triathlon adventures in training crazy; not until now did I believe them. Bob - you rock.

Saturday afternoon that high turned into a nap. Saturday evening Paul picked me up in Jolly, his vintage VW bus, and we headed to Idylwild. But not before stopping at Stone Brewery for an amazing gourmet mac and cheese dinner and of course some cold beer. A really good Hef and yes, a Cider. Off to Tahquitz. Ended up rolling in around midnight, popped the top and crashed. 6:45 am brought some lovely polka music from the nice Mexican family in the campsite over...are you kidding me??? That went on for 30 min at least. Rolled out of bed around 9 and ate some yummy oatmeal. Gave the friendly wave as we were leaving the campground and we were home we'd pay for that crappy nights sleep. My legs were surprising feeling ok on the crazy approach. This picture is a fallen tree with a bunch of really old pennies hammered into it. Arrived at the base of the 5.7 route called Finger Trip. Of course there were 3 parties ahead of us so we moved over to a 5.8 called Traitor Horn. Paul linked the first two pitches with a little bit of simul climbing. The 3rd pitch was the crux. Holy exposure! I followed and fell, and was dangling in mid air. Then a storm rolled in. Lovely, lightening. We need to get out of here, now! He eventually lowered me so I could swing and grab a flake, and re-climb the crux. Somehow I managed to muscle my way up, with my nerves raging! Ok, I'll lead the last pitch cause I'm on this end of the rope and we need to get up. A nice slab with very hollow flakes. Hmm, I feel safe! Ok, you can do this, just keep your feet solid. I placed a couple of nuts and a cam and put in a belay (with my handy dandy bunny ears figure 8 end of rope knot learned from Tommy Cadwell). We made it! Ok, descent time. Let's get going, it's still lightening, thundering and it may drop some rain super soon. Made it down to our packs and then all the way down, with only 10 drops of rain. Home sweet home (but not before a Cider float at Stone).

I'm heading to Minnesota tomorrow! Climbing, boating, and the Tiedeman/Chmielewski wedding. I'm sooo looking forward to a week work free.

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