It's no surprise that St. George is a hilly course. Everyone is talking about it and most are freaking out. I was peer pressured into signing up for this race...before looking at the course profile. 5700ft on the bike + 2200 on the run = almost 8000 ft of elevation gain over the duration of this Ironman. After calming down from the hype I knew I'd be putting in some serious time in the hills of San Diego. This is how serious it's become:
First off, a little history: Alongside my triathlon hobby I am also a rock climber. I was introduced to the sport by Kyle, back in 2006 when we both worked at a summer camp in Maine.Here we are with our color war shields. We were assigned to opposing teams because of an unwritten camp policy on couples. I was on the green team (Green Revolution) and he was with White Ice; I won. :) I continued climbing when I moved back to Minnesota and met some awesome people at Vertical Endeavors. I was lucky enough to be mentored through the sport and went on some amazing trips across North America. I moved to San Diego with great intentions of climbing, but I couldn't get into the gym scene here and didn't have a steady partner...and I also found triathlon. I'm not as strong as I used to be which in turn makes me a more timid climber nowadays. So that's the history.
When I tell people I climb, the most common first question is, "Are you going to climb Mt. Everest someday?" And always, the answer is no. There are many forms of climbing. I'm not into alpine climbing for these reasons and many more: cold, expensive, long days of hiking, altitude, rain, snow, storms, frostbite, sickness, fake food, winter camping, long hard (epic) adventures, and oh yeah it's cold. I was a weekend warrior. I like bolted sport climbing. I like to climb in a tanktop and capris. I like easy approaches. I like when my arms get "pumped." I love the balance it brought to my life. Learning to be graceful is what I miss the most.
But I digress. What does this have to do with St. George?
Well besides the fact that when you are a triathlete, everyone asks "Are you going to do Kona?" which resounds the same annoyance ("No, my goal is to finish this one"), I've climbed Mt. Everest by foot and bike. I have gained over 30,000 ft of elevation during this month alone. (I love Garmin.) Since day 1 with Brian, I've climbed Everest three times. (And that doesn't include the snowboard trip to Mt. High).
I've braved the storms.
I've camped at a race.
I've had long days.
I've spent too much on fake food.
I've gone adventuring.
I've ran and rode through rain.
I haven't worn a tanktop.
I am not graceful.
This is not an easy approach.
But this is the approach I'm taking to survive IMSG. Really looking forward to my long run tomorrow. On the Mountain of Soledad. 2 random loops. 17.5 miles. 2000+ ft elevation gain. 1/15th the size of Everest. Then the 102 mile loop of GWL + Mt. Laguna on Saturday. The "climbing" journey continues. (Kyle is going out to Valley of the Moon for some real climbing this weekend.)
I would like to add, that I got on my trainer for the first time this season. YUCK! I started out my what was supposed to be 45 mile ride and almost got blown off my bike by 35mph winds. I wasn't able to stay aero and it was supposed to be a recovery/slave to aerobar ride. That wasn't happening. So I went home, put on the latest roommate netflix, Mamma Mia, and pedaled no where. No mountains. Only sheer boredom and bad acting.