Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Native American Navigational Skills

For those of you who don't know, I'm a registered member of a Native American tribe in northern Wisconsin. I am a card carrying member of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. This gives me rights such as spear fishing and wild rice harvesting on the reservation. Granted I have only been there twice, once for the ID card and the second for a family reunion a couple summers ago. No, I do not receive any monetary benefits. Check out the Casino, the website says something about the area. However, on a blood level (I'm a quarter Indian) I feel my navigational skills come more naturally than most. Yes, my mother has diluted me some, but overall I have found this sense to be useful.

This weekend wasn't an exception. Saturday morning Stephen drove me up to the TCSD Duathlon in Carlsbad. I was a little nervous to do a race without a swim. My starting strategy changed from insisting on being at the front of the line in the water, to the back of the pack on the road. The course was a 2.25 mile trail run, a 14 mile bike, and finished with the same 2.25 mile run. The first loop was alright, I just tried to stay with the people in front of me. Navigating downhill with my zoots was a bit challenging and I knew I'd have to really pay attention on the final run section when I know my legs will be tired. Up, down, around, the trail was winding around a lake and back to the transition area. Cammi was just ahead of me into transition and I was out before her. I also passed another girl about a mile into the bike. Other than that it was me and these three other men going back and fourth on the short downhills and the crazy long uphills. What?? Who said this was a "rolling hills" course! On the final large downhill I was in my aero bars and cranking hard...I look down and I'm going 39.8mph...freak out! I think it's time for the breaks. And don't get too excited; the bike finished with another long uphill. That smile is deceiving. I love my bike, I hate hills. Hmm, I wonder how my legs are going to feel after this?

I head into transition and someone sort of yelled 1st woman. I blew it off because I knew everyone should be ahead of me. I head out of transition and hear it again. wtf? I get onto the trail and Ann is directing traffic and she says "Yeah girl! First woman!" So finally I'm like "What happened to everyone else?" where she responds something about the leaders getting lost. Argh, now I have to try? Trucking along on the run feeling pretty slow, but trying to pick up my heels. I actually ended up getting off course with this man for a bit but quickly found my way back down. Almost done, wow I feel like crap. The finish was yet again up a hill. Number? 39. Congrats you won. What?
Sweet. I won by default. I won by navigational skills. I suppose it is a part of the race. Later I heard there was only 2 women in the lost pack. Still, it felt a bit awkward getting announced, receiving a medal and winning some swag. But I guess I can't complain. A 'W' is a 'W'.

I also won a squid lid from Osamu who was giving it to the person who reasoned why they would get the most use out of it. Of course it would be me, lover of the cove! He had received it as a gift from Jim McCann, the previous TCSD president who we lost suddenly before I moved to San Diego. I will wear it proudly! Thanks Osamu! (He also took the pictures posted above) Friday I swam in the cove...I wasn't frozen yet, but it would've helped then. Sunday I had more cold water exposure, surfing with Anatoly, Greg, and Vineet in a half suit!

I'll end with a little shout out to my directionally challenged friends. I'm here for you. As Annie would say during our first solo Minneapolis driving adventures, "Thanks for knowing, buddies."


Nikee Pomper said...

Great Job! A swimmer placing 1st at a Duathlon? That is awesome (even if others got lost).

You look really tall in your picture.

KK said...

ha ha ha!! love the native american navigational skills! they must have been how you always made it home somehow after college parties! ;)